The Jackie Brown Script
This script is by Quentin Tarantino. It is based on Elmore Leonard's novel “Rum Punch”.
Jackie Brown Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino OPENING CREDITS INT. LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - DAY We hear the rhythm of funky seventies SOUL MUSIC. Then SHE steps into FRAME. She is JACKIE BROWN, a stewardess dressed in her CABO AIR uniform. (A little shuttle airline that flies from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas. Approximate flight time: forty five minutes) Jackie stands still as a people-mover slowly inches her through the airport. The CREDITS APEAR and DISAPPEAR in front of her. Jackie Brown is a very attractive black woman in her mid forties, though she looks like she's in her mid-thirties. The people-mover reaches the end of the line, she steps off. She breezes through Customs and we follow her with a STEDICAM as she strides through the airport... She gets to her gate disappears inside the plane for a moment comes back out sans flight bag picks up the microphone. JACKIE (into mike) Flight 710 Cabo San Lucas, now boarding Gate 12, first class only. With a smile on her face, she collects passengers' boarding passes as they board the plane. FADE TO BLACK TITLE CARD "ORDELL ROBBIE" FADE UP ON: EXT. FIRING RANGE - DAY VIDEO A chorus line of six beautiful bikini-clad women, all holding different automatic weapons, BLASTING away. The cheap VIDEO TITLES to: "CHICKS WHO LOVE GUNS" Play over this image. One bikini beauty is singled out. She's a gorgeous brunette named SIDNEY. Sidney stands facing camera holding a TEC-9 and describing it. SIDNEY (to camera) Hi, I'm Sidney. And I love to TEC-9. The popular TEC-9 is advertised by its makers as being tough as the toughest customer. SIDNEY'S STATISTICS: Age, height, measurements, date of birth, appear at the bottom left-hand corner. As Sidney continues her sales pitch/demonstration, a BLACK MAN'S VOICE begins talking over the video. BLACK MAN (O.S.) That's a TEC-9. It's a cheap ass spray gun outta South Miami. After a CLOSEUP of the TEC-9, Sidney FIRES the weapon. BLACK VOICE (O.S.) (CONT'D) Cost three-eighty retail. I get them for two hundred and sell 'em for eight. INT. MELANIE'S BEAHC APARTMENT - NIGHT The Black Voice belong to forty-five-year old ORDELL ROBBIE. Ordell wears clothes nice and likes wearing nice clothes. Stylish, athletic wear (Reebok), heavy, black leather jackets (Hugo Boss), warm-colored berets and baseball caps to cover his balding head are Ordell's "look." At this moment Ordell's wearing an open silk shirt. Ordell narrates the video playing on the big-screen V. (the most expensive thing in the apartment). He holds a cocktail in one hand (screwdriver, his drink of choice) and the remote control in the other, pacing the floor in his I-can-talk-anybody-into-anything voice. LOUIS GARA, who looks like he does his shopping at the Salvation Army (dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and dungarees), sits on the sofa staring blankly at the video, drinking Jack Daniels on ice. Louis, white, also in his mid forties, has lived over half of his life in penal institutions. The experience has affected both his body language and his thought process. While acutely aware of the rhythm of life inside a correction facility, in the real world his timing is thrown. It's like a song he doesn't know the lyrics to but attempt to sing anyway. The third person watching the video is the person who lives in this apartment, MELANIE RALSTON. Melanie, thirty- three, is a tanned, blonde, California beach bunny. Like the kind you se in the old Crown International movies from the seventies like "Pom Pom Girls" "Malibu Beach" and "Beach Girls," except Melanie is older than any of those girls ever are. She's dressed in her Melanie- uniform of stringy Levis cutoffs and a stringy bra top. So far Melanie has been able to make a living out of lying in the sun, always finding a generous, wealthy man more than willing to pay her rent and pick up her tabs. In her prime (twenty two) it was Japanese industrialists, film production guys, and Middle Eastern businessmen who kept Melanie. And it was places like the Bahamas, Acapulco, and the Virgin Islands where they kept her. But now, at thirty three, she lives in an apartment in Hermosa Beach, California that Ordell pays for an drops in and out of. She's curled up in a reclining chair, smoking weed from a pipe, reading Movieline Magazine and paying no attention to the video. ORDELL This TEC-9? They advertise it as being the most popular gun in American crime. Can you believe that shit? It actually says that on the little booklet that comes with it. "Most Popular Gun in American Crime," like they're proud of that shit. Ordell hits the fast-forward on his remote control. Sidney is rushed off the screen and replace by CINDY, a pretty, blonde bodybuilder clad in a red, white and blue bikini, holding a Styer Aug. ORDELL (CONT'D) Check out this body-builder chick... Now see what she got. That's a Styer aug. Styer Aug's a bad motherfucker. Listen. Ordell punches up the volume. Cindy BLASTS the Styer Aug, loud. Ordell imitates the sound of the weapon. ORDELL (CONT'D) Shit's expensive, man. Comes from Austria. My customers don't know shit about it, so there ain't no demand. (to Melanie) Baby, I could use some more ice. Melanie puts down the magazine, takes his cocktail glass from him and moves to the kitchen. ORDELL (CONT'D) But put that bad boy in a flick, every motherfucker out there want one. I'm serious as a heart attack. Them Hong Kong movies came out, every nigga gotta have a forty-five. And they don't want one, they want two, cause nigga want to be "The Killer." What they don't know, and that movie don't tell you is a .45 has a serious fuckin' jammin' problem. I always try and steer a customer towards a 9- millimeter. Damn near the same weapon, don't have half the jammin' problems. But some niggas out there, you can't tell them anything. They want a .45. The killer had a .45, they want a .45. Melanie comes back, hands Ordell his screwdriver, then sits where she was. ORDELL (CONT'D) Thanks, Baby. LOUIS Who's your partner? Ordell sits down on the couch. Melanie's reading "Movieline Inside" magazine. ORDELL Mr. Walker. He runs a fishing boat in Mexico. I deliver the merchandise to him, gets it to my customers. On all my bulk sales, anyway. Nigga didn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out 'fore I set 'em up. Now, motherfucker's rollin' in cash. He got himself a yacht, with all kinds of high tech navigational shit on it. (back to video) AK-47, the very best there is. GLORIA, a tall, Amazonian, bikini-clad, black woman faces camera and describes the AK-47. ORDELL (CONT'D) When you absolutely, positively, gotta kill every motherfucker in the room, accept no substitute. That there is the Chinese one. I pay eight- fifty and double my money. The phone rings. ORDELL(CONT'D) Get that for me, will ya baby? MELANIE You know it's for you. Ordell just stares at her. ORDELL Girl, you better not make me go over there and put my feet to ya. Louis keeps staring at he screen. Melanie gets up, goes over to the counter that separates the living room from the kitchen, picks up the phone, says: MELANIE Hello. Puts the phone down and says; MELANIE (CONT'D) It's for you. Before Ordell knows it, Melanie is back in the reclining chair, reclining back all the way. Ordell, pissed, looks at her a moment before taking the phone. ORDELL (into phone) Yeah. (pause) Hey, Junebug, what's up Louis sits on he couch, drinking his Jack Daniels, watching the video. Melanie lies back on the reclining chair, takes a hit off her pipe, then says in a 'holding in smoke' voice; MELANIE (referring to the tape) It's boring, isn't it? LOUIS I can sit through it once. MELANIE He thinks he's Joe Gunn now. LOUIS I'm impressed. He knows a lot. MELANIE He's just repeating shit he overheard. He ain't any more a gun expert than I am. Holding up her pipe. MELANIE Want a hit? LOUIS Sure. Louis takes a hit off the pipe. MELANIE When did you get out of jail? LOUIS Four days ago. MELANIE Where at? LOUIS Susanville. MELANIE How long? LOUIS Two months shy of four years. MELANIE Four years? LOUIS Uh-huh. MELANIE What for? LOUIS Bank robbery. MELANIE Really, I'm impressed. Louis takes a drink of whiskey. MELANIE Four years that's a long fuckin time. Louis nods his head in agreement. Ordell hangs up the phone. Ordell comes back, sitting down on the other side of Louis. ORDELL See, what did I tell you? Man in New York wants a 9 millimeter Smith and Wesson Model 5946. Why does he want it? It's the gun that nigga on "New York Undercover" uses. Because of that nigga, I can sell it to this nigga for twelve-fifty. LOUIS What's your cost? ORDELL As low as two. LOUIS Are you serious? ORDELL That's what I been tellin' you. Start adding these motherfuckin' figures up, and you tell me this ain't a business to be in. The phone rings again. Ordell looks at Melanie. Melanie looks at Ordell. They have a bit of a staring contest before she gets up and gets the phone. ORDELL (CONT'D) I got me five M-60 machine guns. These came straight from the Gulf War. I sold me three of them so far, twenty grand a piece. LOUIS That's good money. ORDELL Louis, this is it, man. I'm gonna make me a million dollars out of this. I already got me a half-a- million sittin' in Mexico. When I do this last delivery, I'm gonna make me another half-million. LOUIS Then what? ORDELL I get out. Spend the rest of my life spending. Melanie sits back down in he chair. ORDELL (CONT'D) Who is it? MELANIE It's Beaumont. KITCHEN Ordell, drink in hand, picks up the receiver. ORDELL (into phone) Beaumont�Ordell. What's the problem? (pause) What the fuck you doin' in jail? (pause) What the fuck you doin' that for? (pause) Ain't you got better sense than to be drivin' drunk carrying a goddam pistol? He listens to Beaumont on the other line - it's obvious Beaumont's starting to freak out. Ordell changes his tone. ORDELL (CONT'D) - Beaumont. Beaumont. Listen to me. Number one, you need to chill out, nigga. Bad as this shit is, this shit ain't as bad as you think it is. (pause) Course you're scared. That's what these motherfuckers get paid for scarin' the shit outta ya. That's their job. And my job is to get you the fuck home so let me tell you what is gonna happen... May I speak?... Thank you... You gonna spend the night in jail; it's too late to get you out now. Tomorrow, they gonna take you into court. I'm gonna be there. Judge gonna set your bail. I'm gonna pay your bail, they gonna cut you loose. By tomorrow night, you'll be back home, I promise. (pause) So just calm your ass down, and I'll see you tomorrow. (pause) You owe me a helluva lot more than one, nigga. (laughs) See you. Ordell hangs up the phone. CUT TO: EXT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS - DAY The store front window of Cherry Bail Bonds in Inglewood, California. The name of the business is spelled out on the window, which also includes a drawing of a fat red cherry. Ordell's BLACK MERCEDES CONVERTIBLE pulls up. Ordell in the driver's seat. Louis in shotgun position. INT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS - DAY Inside Cherry Bail Bonds, looking out through the picture window. We can read the name on the glass backwards. Ordell and Louis appears in the window and enter the building. Ordell carries a L.A. Lakers athletic bag. An unidentified MALE VOICE, obviously on the telephone, can be heard. Ordell goes toward the voice and tells Louis to "hang back." MALE VOICE (O.S.) ... the judge doesn't give a fuck about that. He's ready to habitualize you. Is that what you want - you wanna look at ten years? The voice belong to MAX CHERRY, bail bondsman. Max, a regular-Joe-type white guy in his fifties, sits behind his desk talking on the phone. His eyes raise as he sees Ordell approach him. MAX (CONT'D) (on phone) Just overnight is all. Tomorrow I'll get you out, I promise. But it means I gotta pick you up tonight. Ordell motion to the chair in front of Max's desk. Max motions for Ordell to take a seat. MAX (CONT'D) (on phone) Reggie, there ain't no two ways about it. You're spending the night in jail, but I already told you I'll get you out tomorrow. Now where are you? (pause) You're at your mother's house, aren't you? Ordell lights up a cigarette. (Viceroy). He notices a picture on the wall of Max with his arm around a big, powerfully built black man. They're both grinning. Louis pours himself some coffee from a coffeemaker into a small, white styrofoam cup. He picks up a jar of powdered non-dairy creamer that's so dry he has to break off a rock. Louis adds the rock of coffeemate to his beverage. MAX (CONT'D) (on phone) Okay. Just stay put till I come for you. (pause) Reggie, do yourself a really big favor and be there when I get there. He hangs up the phone. Ordell sits in front of the desk, smiling at him and smoking. MAX (CONT'D) How can I help you? ORDELL (indicating the Viceroy) Where would you like me to put my ash? Max looks at him for a moment. MAX Use that coffee cup on the desk. Ordell picks up the coffee cup, which still has a little bit of coffee in it, and flicks his ash. ORDELL And I need me a bond for ten thousand. Max throws a look past Ordell to Louis. ORDELL (CONT'D) Oh, that's just my white friend, Louis. He's got nothing to do with my business. We just hangin together. We're on our way to a cocktail lounge. From across the room, Louis nods his head in Max's direction. Max looks at him a moment, then back to Ordell. ORDELL (CONT'D) (returning to the photo) Who's that big Mandingo nigga you gotcha arm around? Max looks at him a moment and says; MAX That's Winston. He works here. ORDELL He's a big one. You two tight? MAX Yeah. ORDELL It was our idea to take the picture, wasn't it? Max looks at Ordell, getting his drift, then says; MAX So, you want a ten-thousand dollar bond. What've you got for collateral? ORDELL Gonna have to put up cash. MAX You have it with you? Ordell picks up his Lakers bag and puts it in the empty chair next to him. ORDELL It's in my bag. MAX You have cash. What do you need me for? ORDELL C'mon, you know how they do. Black man comes in with ten thousand, they wanna fuck with 'em. First off, they gonna wanna know where I got it. Second, they gonna keep a big chunk of it - start talkin' that court cost shit. Fuck that shit, Jack. I'll go through you. MAX Cost you a thousand for the bond. ORDELL I know that. Louis just stands, feeling uncomfortable, in the other room drinking coffee. MAX Who's it for? A relative? ORDELL Fella named Beaumont. They have him up at county. It started out drunk driving, but they wrote it up "possession of a concealed weapon." Dumb monkey-ass had a pistol on him. MAX Ten thousand sounds high. ORDELL They ran his name and got a hit. He's been in before. Besides, Beaumont's from Kentucky, and I think they're prejudiced against black men from the South out here. MAX He takes off and I gotta go to Kentucky to bring him back, you pay the expenses. ORDELL You think you could do that? Max taking papers out of the drawer... MAX I've done it. ... picking up the pen... MAX (CONT'D) What's his full name? ORDELL Beaumont. That's the only name I know. Max looks at Ordell, but doesn't ask him the obvious question. Max picks up the phone. MAX (on phone) Records office. Max on hold, looks at Ordell. Ordell smiles. MAX (CONT'D) (back on the line) Hello, this is Max Cherry. Cherry Bail Bonds. Who's this? (pause) Hi, Vicki. Look, Vicki, I need you to look up the booking card and rough arrest on a defendant named Beaumont. (pause) That's all I have. I believe it's a surname but I'm not sure. Thanks. Louis enters the area, standing over Ordell. LOUIS I'm going to wait in the car. ORDELL Sure. (to Max) We almost done, ain't we? MAX Getting there. ORDELL You go wait in the car. Wait a minute. Ordell pulls out a heavy-duty keychain with a shitload of keys on it. ORDELL Take the keys, man. Listen to music. LOUIS Which one is for the car? Ordell finds it. While he goes through the keys, Vicki comes back on the line. Max speaks with her as he fills out his papers. ORDELL (holding a key) This one's for the ignition... (holding a little black box) ... but you gotta hit this thing to shut the alarm off and unlock the door. LOUIS What do I do? ORDELL You ain't got to do nothing. Just point at it and push the button. You'll hear the car go "bleep." That means the alarm's off and the doors are open. LOUIS Okay. ORDELL Now play the volume as loud as you want but don't touch my levels. I got them set just the way I want 'em. Louis nods and goes out. EXT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS - DAY Louis walks out of the office. He goes up to Ordell's black Mercedes. He points the little black box at it. The car goes BLEEP. He gingerly approaches it, opens the door and climbs inside. INT. MAX CHERRY'S OFFICE - DAY Max hangs up the phone. MAX (to Ordell) Beaumont Livingston. ORDELL Livingston, huh? MAX On his prior, he served nine months, and he's working on four years' probation. ORDELL You don't say. MAX Do you know what he's on probation for? ORDELL Haven't a clue. MAX Possession of unregistered machine guns. ORDELL Will they consider this a violation of his probation? MAX They do consider this a violation of his probation. Your boy's looking at ten years, plus the concealed weapon. ORDELL Man, he won't like that. Beaumont don't got a doin' time disposition. MAX I need your name and address. ORDELL Ordell Robbie. O-R-D-E-L-L. R-O-B-B-I- E. 1436 Florence Boulevard. Compton 90222. MAX House or apartment? ORDELL House. MAX Now I need you to count your money. Ordell hands him the Lakers bag. Max takes the money out putting it on the desk. ORDELL Hope you don't mind me askin' where you keepin' my money till I get it back. In your drawer? Max begins counting it. MAX Across the street a Great Western. It goes in a trust account. You'll need to fill out an Application for Appearance Bond, an Indemnity Agreement, a Contingent Promissory Note. That's the one, if Beaumont skips and I go after him, you pay the expenses. ORDELL Beaumont ain't going nowhere. (he takes a pen out of his pocket) Where do I sign? Max pulls the forms from his desk, and lays them in front of Ordell. Max goes back to counting the money. Ordell reads the first agreement then says; ORDELL (CONT'D) (reading the form) Hey, Max. MAX (still counting money) Yes. ORDELL (still reading form) I was wondering. What if before the court date gets here, Beaumont gets hit by a bus or something and dies. (he puts the form down and looks at Max) I get my money back, don't I? CUT TO: A BLACK FINGER Pressing a BLACK BUTTON next to the name, "BEAUMONT LIVINGSTON". INT. BEAUMONT'S APARTMENT - NIGHT BEAUMONT LIVINGSTON, wearing no shirt, sweatpants, and smoking a fatty answers the intercom, which buzzes loudly. We can hear JAY LENO interviewing a CELEBRITY on TV OFFSCREEN. BEAUMONT (into the speaker) Who is it? EXT. BEAUMONT'S APARTMENT - NIGHT Ordell stands outside the security gate of Beaumont's Hollywood apartment. EXTREME CLOSEUP - Ordell's lips talking into the intercom speaker. ORDELL It's your benefactor, nigga. Buzz me up. EXTREME CLOSEUP - Beaumont's finger pressing the entry button. EXTREME CLOSEUP - The doorknob on the security gate, BUZZING. Ordell's hand comes into frame twisting it open. Beaumont opens his apartment door, fatty between his fingers. He sees Ordell approach. Ordell greets him, arms spread out in hug mode, with a big smile across his face. ORDELL Look at you and your free ass. Come over and give me a motherfuckin' hug. Ordell and Beaumont embrace. BEAUMONT What the fuck can I say? I'm serious, man. What the fuck can I say? Thank you... thank you... thank you. ORDELL Who was there for your ass? BEAUMONT You were there for me. ORDELL Who? BEAUMONT You. Laughing his hustler's laugh and bumping Beaumont's fist hard. ORDELL You goddam right! Beaumont laughs. ORDELL You see,�it works like this. You get your ass in trouble, I get your ass out. That's my job. And I don't mind tellin ya, nigga, it's steady work. BEAUMONT I'm still scared as a motherfucker, Ordell. They talkin' like they serious 'bout me doin' that machine gun time. ORDELL Naw, man. They just tryin' to put a fright in your ass. BEAUMONT If that's what they want to do, they're doin' it. ORDELL How old is that machine gun shit? BEAUMONT Three years. ORDELL Three years. That crime's old, man. They ain't got room in prison for all the motherfuckers out there killin' people. How they gonna find room for you? BEAUMONT That's not what they're tellin' me. ORDELL That's why they call it "fuckin' with ya." Now you wanna hear how we retaliate? Beaumont takes a hit off the fatty and nods his head. ORDELL (CONT'D) Tomorrow I pick you up, take you to Century City, meet my lawyer. Now let me tell you a little bit about my lawyer. His name is Stacin Goins and this nigga is a junkyard dog! He's my own private Johnie Cochran. In fact, he'd kick Johnie Cochran's ass. And like Johnie Cochran, dude hates fuckin' cops. I'm serious, this man lives to fuck with the police. So as a favor, I had him look at your case. Stacin told me you aint got shit to worry about. They just fuckin' wit ya. So we sic the junkyard dog on their ass, make 'em - (he bumps fist with Beaumont) ... Stop fuckin' wit ya! Beaumont gesture inside his apartment. BEAUMONT Hey, c'mon in, man. I was just - you know - smokin' a fatty, watchin' TV. ORDELL Naw, man. I gotta be someplace. I was kinda hopin you could come with me. BEAUMONT What'd ya mean? ORDELL Look, I hate to be the kinda nigga, does a nigga a favor - then BAM - hits a nigga up for a favor in return. But I'm afraid I gotta be that kinda nigga. BEAUMONT What? ORDELL I need a favor. BEAUMONT That requires me goin out tonight? ORDELL A bit. BEAUMONT Aaaaawww man, I wasn't plannin' on goin no place. It's twelve o'clock, man. I'm home, I'm high - ORDELL Why the fuck you at home? Cause I spent ten thousand dollars gittin' your ass home. (changes tone) Look, I gotta problem. I need help, and you can help me. This has the desired effect. TIME CUT: WITH ORDELL WAITING OUTSIDE THE DOOR Beaumont comes out of the apartment, sporting Nikes and a Queen Latifah t-shirt. He locks his front door and walks with Ordell to his car. They talk the whole way. We STEDICAM in front of them the whole way. BEAUMONT What's the problem? ORDELL Well, it ain't so much a problem a a situation. Remember I sold those three M-60 machine guns outta the five I got? BEAUMONT Uh-huh. ORDELL I'm gonna sell the other two tonight. This group of Koreans in Koreatown have started a Neighborhood Watch kinda thing. And they want a few weapons so the neighborhood niggas know they mean business. So I'm gonna sell 'em my two machine guns tonight. Only problem, I aint never dealt with these Koreans before. Now I aint worried. Asians are by and large real dependable. They don't want no trouble. You might argue about price, but you aint gotta worry about them shootin' you in the back. But I got me kind of a rule. Never do business with nobody you ain't never done business with before without backup. That's why I need you, backup. BEAUMONT Man, I ain't ready to be goin' out nowhere - ORDELL - Let me finish. Can I finish? BEAUMONT Go ahead. CUT TO: TRUNK The trunk of a car is opened. Ordell bends down into the trunk and pulls out a pump action shotgun. Beaumont obviously doesn't want any part of any Ordell game that requires a pump action shotgun as a playing piece. ORDELL Now you're gonn be in the trunk holding onto the shotgun. And I'm going to tell them I'm opening up my trunk to show 'em my goods. I open up the trunk, you pop up, rack that bad boy. BEAUMONT Fuck that shit, man. I ain't shootin' anybody. ORDELL What the fuck I tell you. You don't hafta shoot nobody. Just hold the gun. They'll get the idea. BEAUMONT I ain't gittin' in that trunk. ORDELL We're only goin' to Koreatown. You'll be in there - ten minutes. BEAUMONT Uh-uh. I ain't riding in that trunk no minutes. Why don't I just ride with you? ORDELL You can't ride with me. The surprise effect is ninety percent of it. BEAUMONT Well, I'm sorry, man, but I ain't gittin' in that trunk. ORDELL I can't believe you do me this way. BEAUMONT I ain't doin' you no way. I just ain't climbin' in that trunk. I got a problem with small places. ORDELL Well, my ass has got a problem spending ten thousand dollars of my own goddam money to get ungrateful, peanut-head niggas outta jail, but I do it - BEAUMONT Look, man, I know I owe you - ORDELL - Well, if you owe me, git your ass in the trunk. BEAUMONT - I wanna help you, but I don't wanna be locked in the trunk of no car. ORDELL You think I wanted to spend ten thousand dollars on your ass? Beaumont starts to speak - ORDELL (CONT'D) Answer the question, nigga. Do you think I wanted to spend the thousand dollars on your ass? Yes or no? BEAUMONT Course you didn't. ORDELL But the only way to help you was to do that, so I did it. (pause) Okay, how 'bout this? After we're through fuckin' with these Koreans, I take you to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. My treat. Beaumont smiles. So does Ordell. ORDELL (CONT'D) Just think, man. That Scoe's special, smothered in gravy and onions. Get a side of red beans and rice. Uuuuummmmm, that's some good eatin'. Beaumont and Ordell laugh together... the Beaumont says; BEAUMONT Now exactly how long I gotta be in this motherfucker. CUT TO: TRUNK Beaumont in the trunk, holding the shotgun. The trunk lid is SLAMMED closed. EXT. / INT. OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT Ordell walks around the car, climbs into the plush interior of the Olds and turns on the engine. It comes to life with a SOFT RUMBLE. He puts a tape in the player inside the dash. The tape is labeled "ORDELL'S JAMS." Cool, old-school R&B fills the cab. Ordell cruises, moving his head to the rhythm and mouthing the words. He drives for awhile, just groovin' on the music... ... then stops. Ordell switches the engine and the music off. The cab goes black. He leans over the passenger seat, opening the glovebox. A tiny light turns on when the glovebox is opened. It's the only light in the cab. Ordell leaves it on. In silence he takes one glove out and puts it on his right hand. Then with his gloved hand, reaches in the glovebox and pulls out a five-shot .38 snubby. He closes the glovebox. The cab goes black. EXT. OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT The Olds is parked out in the middle of some urban nowhere. Ordell gets out, sticks the snubby in his pants, and walks to the back of the Olds. He sticks his key in the trunk and says; ORDELL Don't worry. It's just me. The trunk opens. Beaumont is hunched on his side with the shotgun. ORDELL (CONT'D) I was wondering. Did any federal people come visit you in jail and I should be watching my ass? Beaumont doesn't say anything. ORDELL (CONT'D) You wouldn't tell me if they did and I wouldn't blame you. Ordell takes the snubby out of his pants. Beaumont quick-racks the pump shotgun, pulls the trigger, and hears the click you hear from an empty weapon. He racks it again, CLICK then BAM. Beaumont is shot hard in the chest. He goes back into he trunk. Ordell puts one more shot in his head, BAM, tosses the weapon on top of the dead body and closes the trunk. Ordell's Beaumont problem is solved. He climbs back into the cab, turns on the engine. We hear the old-school R&B song come back on, but VERY LOW. Ordell drives the Olds away. CUT TO: INT. MOTEL - NIGHT Louis sits on a bed in a flophouse motel room, flipping from one channel to another with a remote control, drinking cocktails from a can. The phone rings. He answers it. LOUIS Hello. INT. OLDSMOBILE (PARKED) - NIGHT Ordell is sitting parked in the comfy-cozy cab of the Olds, listening to soul music with his tiny cellular phone next to his ear. ORDELL Louis, my man. Watcha doin'? LOUIS Oh, I dunno. Watching TV. ORDELL Whatcha watchin'? LOUIS Nothin' really. Just kinda goin' back and forth. They had some black girl from some black show on Jay Leno. I watched that for a bit, but I kept flippin channels cause I didn't know who she was. ORDELL Guess where I am? LOUIS I dunno. ORDELL I know you don't know. I said guess. LOUIS The moon - I dunno ORDELL I'm talkin' to you from the comfy- cozy interior of an Oldsmobile parked outside your nasty-ass welfare motel. LOUIS You're outside? ORDELL Uh-huh. LOUIS C'mon in. ORDELL Naw, man. I just told you, I'm comfortable. I ain't about to walk into that roach motel and get uncomfortable. You bring your ass out here. LOUIS I'm in my underwear. ORDELL Then put your goddam drawers on, and get your ass out here. I got somethin' to show you. EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT Louis, having just thrown on some pants, walks outside his room and sees Ordell's big, black Oldsmobile parked in front of the motel. As he approaches, the power window on the driver's side comes down, revealing a comfortable Ordell sitting back in his seat looking up at Louis. ORDELL You know what your problem is, Louis? Louis doesn't say anything, he just puts his hands in his pockets. ORDELL (CONT'D) You think you're a good guy. When you go into a deal you don't go in prepared to take that motherfucker all the way. You go in looking for a way out. And it ain't cause you're scared neither. It's cause you think you're a good guy, and you think there's certain things a good guy won't do. That's where we're different, me and you. Cause me, once I decide I want something, aint a goddam motherfuckin' thing gonna stop me from gittin' it. I gotta use a gun get what I want, I'm gonna use a gun. Nigga gets in my way, nigga gonna get removed. Understand what I'm saying? CLOSEUP: KEY GOING INTO TRUNK Trunk opens showing Beaumont shot in the chest with half his head blown off. Louis looks inside, see Beaumont, looks at Ordell, then back to Beaumont. Ordell closes the trunk. LOUIS Who was that? ORDELL That was Beaumont. LOUIS Who was Beaumont? ORDELL An employee I had to let go. LOUIS What did he do? ORDELL He put himself in a situation where he was gonna have to do ten years in the penetentiary, that's what he did. (taking out a Viceroy and lighting it up) And if you know Beaumont, you know there aint no way in hell he can do no ten years. And if you know that, you know Beaumont's gonna go any goddam thing Beaumont can to keep from doin' those ten years including telling the Federal government everything they want to know about my ass. Now that, my friend, is a clear case of him or me. And you best believe it aint gonna be me. You know what I'm sayin'? You gonna come in on this with me, you gotta be prepared to go all the way. I got me so far over a half-a-million dollars sittin' in lockboxes in a bank in Cabo San Lucas. Me and Mr. Walker make us one more delivery, I'm gonna have me over a million. You think I'm gonna let this little cheese eatin' nigga here fuck that up? Shit, you better think again. 'Fore I let this deal get fucked up, I'll shoot that nigga in the head, and ten niggas look just like em. (pause) Understand what I'm sayin'? LOUIS Yeah. ORDELL So we on the same page then? LOUIS I follow. Ordell smiles (not his hustler smile, but a genuine smile). Louis grins. They both bump fists. FADE TO BLACK: TITLE CARD: "JACKIE BROWN" The sound of airplanes landing and taking off can be heard underneath this... INT. LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - DAY A SUBTITLE reads: "LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT PARKING GARAGE" We look down a row of cars in an enclosed parking garage at LAX. Jackie Brown, the Cabo Air stewardess from the opening credits, walks into frame. We dolly behind her as she walks down the row of cars. VOICE (O.S.) Miss Brown. She turns towards the voice/camera. Young plainclothes cop, MARK DARGUS, walks up to her, holding open his I.D. case. DARGUS Hi, I'm Detective Mark Dargus. L.A.P.D. can I ask what you have in that bag? JACKIE The usual things. I'm a flight attendant with Cabo Air. Young plainclothes cop RAY NICOLET, enters the scene. NICOLET Can I be of some assistance? As Jackie pulls the cigarettes (Davidoffs) from her purse, she says to Ray; JACKIE I doubt it. (to Dargus) Who's your friend? DARGUS This is Special Agent Ray Nicolet with Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Would you mind if we looked in that bag? Jackie lights her cigarette with a yellow Bic lighter. JACKIE Would I mind? Do I have a choice? DARGUS You have the right to say "no." And I have the right to make you wait here with Ray while I go get a warrant. And if I don't want to go through all that trouble, I could just take you in on suspicion. JACKIE Suspicion of what? NICOLET All he wants to do is peek in your bag. I'll watch he doesn't take anything. Jackie shrugs and says; JACKIE Go ahead. Dargus lays the flight bag on the pavement, gets down on his haunches, and starts feeling through her things. CLOSEUP FLIGHT BAG A soiled blouse, uniform skirt, - then a manila envelope, a fat one, nine-by-twelve. Jackie watches him straighten the clasp... ENVELOPE Opens it. Out drops several packets of one hundred dollar bills secured with rubberbands. Nicolet whistles. Dargus looks up at her. DARGUS I'd say there's about, oh, fifty thousand dollars here. What would you say Ray? NICOLET That looks like fifty thousand dollars from here. JACKIE Not saying anything at the moment. DARGUS This is your money? JACKIE If I were to tell you "no it isn't..." Dargus smiles. DARGUS You should know if you bring in anything over ten thousand you have to declare it. You forgot or what? You could get a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar fine, plus two years in prison. Now you want to talk to us about it, or you want to talk to Customs? JACKIE I'm not saying another word. NICOLET Listen, Jackie, Hope you don't mind if I call you Jackie. They're a bunch of fuckin' pricks in Customs. Something about that job makes them kinda hard to get along with. Now, do you want to talk with a bunch of suspicious, disagreeable people like them, or a couple good-hearted guys like Mark and myself. Nicolet smiles. CLOSEUP JACKIE Doesn't smile back. DISSOLVE TO: CLOSEUP JACKIE Sitting in a chair facing the two offscreen detectives. Jackie lights up a cigarette. We don't leave the CLOSEUP until noted. INT. DARGUS OFFICE - DAY DARGUS (O.S.) Hey, this is my office. There's no smoking. JACKIE Arrest me. Nicolet laughs O.S. DARGUS (O.S.) We could, smart ass... or we could work out what's known as a Substantial Assistance Agreement. That is if you're willing to cooperate. Tell us who gave you the money and who you're giving it to. Jackie doesn't sat anything... she just smokes. NICOLET (O.S.) You got a good lawyer? DARGUS (O.S.) Can she afford a good one is the question. Otherwise she'll be in Sybill Brand three weeks easy before the Public Defender gets around to her. NICOLET (O.S.) Ever heard of a fella named Beaumont Livingston? Not a word. NICOLET (O.S.) (CONT'D) Don't know Beaumont? That's funny 'cause Beaumont knows you. Well he did know you, Beaumont was found in the trunk of a car - dead. Shot twice. Once in the head and once in the chest. Jackie, she puts the "ool" in "cool." NICOLET (O.S.) (CONT'D) I had the chance to talk to Beaumont yesterday. You see, like you, Beaumont found himself in some hot water. He was looking at ten years he was pretty sure he didn't want to do and was understandably concerned. Now maybe you don't know Beaumont, but Beaumont knew you, and maybe so does the guy who blew Beaumont's head off. Not a word. DARGUS (O.S.) If you don't want to talk to us, I guess we'll just have to hand you over to Customs. Jackie puts out her cigarette. JACKIE Okay, let's go. She stares down the cops. DARGUS AND NICOLET We cut to the detective and the special agent for the first time in the scene. DARGUS You know, Miss Brown, there's basically three types of people that we come along in the performance of our duty. One is, INNOCENT PEOPLE. Victims, witnesses, innocent bystanders... You ain't any of these. Then there's two; CRIMINALS. These sonabitches have dedicated their lives to a life outside the law. That ain't you either. Where you belong is the third category. The category we refer to as LOSERS. Jackie's eyes don't even narrow at the insult. She just says without expression; JACKIE I'm not a loser. DARGUS Oh, you're both? In 1985 you were flying for TWA and got busted for carrying drugs. You were carrying them for a pilot husband of yours. He did time and you got off. But that ended your career with the big airlines. Cut to thirteen years later. You're forty-four years of age. You're flying for the shittiest little shuttle-fucking piece of shit Mexican airline that there is. Where you make a whopping twelve-thousand dollars a year. That ain't a hulluva lot to show for a twenty year career. And to top it off, you're going to jail. Now true, the judge, even with your prior, will probably only give you a year or two. But this doesn't seem like the time of life you got years to throw away. (pause) Now, we don't like trying losers like they're criminals. But in the absence of a criminal, we will try you. Now, wasn't this money given to you by an American living in Mexico by the name of Cedric Walker? Jackie remains unmoved by this monologue. Nicolet joins back in. NICOLET You know, ol' Beaumont wasn't much for talkin', either. Yeah, he told us about you and Mr. Walker, but whoever the hell it was he worked for out here, he wouldn't say. Could it be the same person you were supposed to deliver this money to? Jackie just stares at them, saying nothing. Dargus sits behind his desk, with Jackie's flight bag on it. DARGUS I'd like your permission to open this again. So we'll know exactly how much money we're talkin' about here. Jackie gets up from her chair, walks over to the desk, unzips the bag, takes out the manila envelope and drops it on the desk. JACKIE Help yourself. DARGUS While you're at it, let me see what else is in there. You mind? She reaches in the bag and brings out a pocketbook. JACKIE My pocketbook. DARGUS What's in it? JACKIE Beauty products. Nicolet takes the manila envelope. NICOLET I'll count the money. Dargus points at a clear plastic bag with pills and packets in it. DARGUS What's this? JACKIE That's my diet shit. Nicolet takes out the bills from the envelope. DARGUS Let's see what else is in there. Nicolet takes the bills and looks inside the envelope. His expression changes to a shit-eating grin. NICOLET Oh, Miss Brown? JACKIE Yeah? Nicolet pulls out a clear cellophane sandwich bag with a half-inch or so of white powder inside. NICOLET And what would this be, Sweet and Low? JACKIE What the fuck is that shit? NICOLET I know what it looks like. JACKIE You planted that shit on me. Nicolet and Dargus laugh at that. JACKIE Look, that shit ain't mine. NICOLET (to Dargus) It isn't enough for Trafficking, but how 'bout Posession with the Intent to Distribute? DARGUS Oh, I wouldn't be so sure. What with all the cash, I think I could go with Conspiracy to Traffic. JACKIE I'm tellin' you, I don't know nothin' about that fuckin' shit. NICOLET Well then, Miss Brown. Why don't you have a seat and tell us who might know something about this fuckin' shit. Jackie just looks at the two grinning Cheshire cats as the balance of power rolls over on her. CUT TO: EXT. TORRANCE MUNICIPAL COURTHOUSE - DAY A Los Angeles County Jail bus pulls up behind the Torrance Court House. INT. COUNTY JAIL BUS - DAY Jackie, now wearing County Jail blues, sits next to another BLACK WOMAN. Their hands cuffed together. The bus stops. A rough-looking FEMALE COUNTY SHERIFF unlocks the gate that encloses the prisoners. Then explains in a you-better-do-exactly-what-I-say manner, how they're going to leave the bus. EXT. COUNTY JAIL BUS - DAY MANY WOMEN, including Jackie, all wearing county blues and handcuffed to each other, exit the bus. The SHERIFFS lead them into the back entrance to the court house. INT. HALLWAY COURTHOUSE - DAY Dargus and Nicolet confer with the PUBLIC DEFENDER, an attractive blonde woman in a nice business suit. DARGUS If she'll cooperate with us, we'll turn possession with intent into plain ol' Possession, and she can bond outta here for one thousand bucks. If she doesn't help us, we'll go for the Intent and request a twenty-five-thousand dollar bond. INT. COURTROOM - DAY Jackie and the Public Defender. Jackie, in her county blues; Public Defender in her nice suit. JACKIE You tell those guys they'll have to do one helluva lot better than that before I'll even say 'hi' to them. PUBLIC DEFENDER Well, that's the State's offer. If you plead to possession and tell L.A.P.D. what they want to know, your bond will be set at one-thousand dollars. If you don't, L.A.P.D. will request one at twenty- five thousand based on your prior record and risk of flight. If you don't post it or don't know anyone who can, you'll spend six to eight weeks in County before your arraignment comes up. JACKIE Who's side are you on? PUBLIC DEFENDER I beg your pardon? JACKIE What if I plead guilty? PUBLIC DEFENDER And cooperate? You might get probation. JACKIE If I don't cooperate? PUBLIC DEFENDER With the prior? You could get anywhere from a year to five depending on the judge. You want to think about it? You got two minutes before we're up. COURT IN SESSION It's a full schedule in court today. Jackie sits with a bunch of other females wearing county blues in the defendant's area (where the jury sits during a jury trial) Dargus and Nicolet sit in the courtroom. The JUDGE reads the next case. JUDGE Brown. Case number 700324. Jackie rises amongst the other defendants. The P.D. rises. Dargus, the arresting officer, rises. JUDGE The charge is possession of Narcotics with the Intent to Distribute. How does your client plead? PUBLIC DEFENDER She wishes to stand mute, your honor. JUDGE Very well... (to Dargus) ... Detective Dargus - You're the arresting officer in his case, correct? DARGUS That's correct, your honor. JUDGE You have a recommendation for bail? DARGUS Yes, I do, your honor. Based on the defendant's prior conviction and the extreme possibility of flight due to her occupation, the State requests a bond of no less than twenty-five thousand. The Judge looks at the report, then at Jackie... JUDGE I'll set bond at ten thousand and set the date of August 14th for the arraignment. JACKIE When is that, your honor? JUDGE That's six weeks from now, Miss Brown. We'll continue this matter then. Owens, case 72242. Jackie sits down. Dargus sits down next to Nicolet. They smile and giggle together. Jackie sees them giggle like fifth graders. It fucking pisses her off. DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE We go from a CLOSEUP of a boiling Jackie, to a perspective from the back of the courtroom. We see Jackie in the defendant's area. We see the two happy detectives walk past us on their way out of the courtroom. ORDELL Sits in the back, watching the proceedings without any expression. When he's seen enough, he stands up and out of the shot leaving an EMPTY FRAME. FADE TO BLACK TITLE CARD "MAX CHERRY" FADE UP ON: INT. MAX CHERRY'S OFFICE - DAY The bathroom door in Max's office. We hear a toilet flush behind it. The door opens, and Max Cherry emerges, zipping up his pants with a TV guide in his hand. He looks up and stops dead. Ordell sitting oh-so comfortably in the chair in front of Max's desk. ORDELL Unh... unh... unh... I din't hear you wash your hands. Max looks at Ordell, then takes his place behind his desk. MAX Comfortable? ORDELL The door was opened, so I just came right in. MAX I can see that. Why? ORDELL I got some more business for ya. MAX Oh, yeah? What did he do? ORDELL (O.S.) She is an airline stewardess. Got caught coming back from Mexico with some blow. They set her bond this afternoon at ten thousand. Now, what I was thinkin', you could use the ten thousand you owe me from Beaumont and move it over on to the stewardess. MAX The bond for possession is only a thousand. ORDELL They fuckin' wit' her. They callin' it Possession with Intent. A black woman in her forties gets busted with less than two ounces on her, they call that shit Intent. Same shit happened to a movie star. It's Possession. MAX It still sounds high. ORDELL She had, I believe it was... fifty grand on her, too. There was a cop at the hearing. Young guy with L.A.P.D. wanted her bond set at twenty-five thousand, saying there was a risk of flight. Jackie being a stewardess and all. MAX Before we start talking about stewardess, let's get Beaumont out of the way first. Sitting back in the chair - almost grinning - but not quite. ORDELL Somebody already did. MAX What? ORDELL You didn't hear? MAX Hear what? ORDELL Somebody with a grudge blew Beaumont's brains out - hey, that rhymes - blew Beaumont's brains out. MAX Did the police contact you? ORDELL Very first motherfuckin' thing they did. They see I put up a big money bond on my boy, they start thinking with that where-there's-smoke-there's fire logic. They roust my ass outta bed, ten o'clock in the morning. Fuckin' scare my woman, Sherona, half to death. She thought they were gonna take my ass away for sure. MAX The stewardess. Do you know her last name? ORDELL (smiles) Brown, Jackie Brown. MAX What does she do for you? ORDELL Who says she does anything for me? She's my friend. When my friends get into trouble, I like to help 'em out. MAX Beaumont worked for you. ORDELL That's what the police thought. I told them I'm unemployed, how could I have anybody work for me? Now I bail out Jackie, I'm liable to have the police on me again, huh? Wanting to know was she doing things for me, was she bringing me that money! MAX Was she? ORDELL Is this, me and you, like a lawyer- client relationship? The lawyer can't tell nothing he hears? MAX You're not my client until you get busted and I bond you out. ORDELL If there's no - what do you call it - confidentiality between us? Why would I tell you anything? MAX Cause you want me to know what a slick guy you are. You got stewardesses bringing you fifty grand. ORDELL Why would a stewardess bring me fifty grand? MAX You want me to speculate on what you do. I'd say you're in the drug business, except the money's moving in the wrong direction. Whatever you're into, you seem to be getting away with it, so more power to you. Okay you want another bond, and you want to move over the ten thousand you put down on Beaumont to the stewardess. That means paperwork. I have to get a death certificate, present it to the court, fill out a receipt for return of bond collateral, then type up another application. An indemnity agreement - ORDELL - Jackie aint got time for all that shit - MAX - I'm telling you what I have to do. What you have to do, in case you forgot, is come up with premium of a thousand bucks. ORDELL I got it. I just don't got it on me. MAX Well, come back when you do, and I'll bond out the stewardess. ORDELL Man, you know I'm good for it. Thousand bucks ain't shit. MAX If I don't see it in front of me, you're right. It ain't shit. ORDELL Man, you need to look at this with a little compassion. Jackie ain't no criminal. She ain't used to this kinda treatment. I mean, gangsters don't give a fuck - but for the average citizen, coupla nights in County fuck with your mind. MAX Ordell, this isn't a bar, an you don't have a tab. ORDELL Just listen for a second. We got a forty-year-old, gainfully employed black woman, falsely accused - MAX Falsely accused? She didn't come back from Mexico with cocaine on her? ORDELL Falsely accused of Intent. If she had that shit - and mind you, I said "if" - it was just her shit to get high with. MAX Is white guilt supposed to make me forget I'm running a business? Ordell gives up and takes an envelope out of his pocket. ORDELL Okay, man. I got your money. But don't you ever ask me for no fuckin' favor. INT. MAX'S CADILLAC (MOVING) - NIGHT It's early evening; and Max's powder-blue Seville is driving to the County Jail with a client, a young Hispanic woman of twenty named ANITA. MAX Tomorrow I'll talk to your probation officer. Karen's a good kid, but she's mad at you, because you lied to her. This business about your grandmother's funeral ANITA I went. I did. I took my mother and little brother. MAX But you didn't ask permission. You broke a trust. If you had asked, Karen probably would have let you. I'm sure she would. ANITA I know. That's why I went. MAX But then you told her you were home. ANITA Sure, 'cause I didn't ask her if I could go. Max gives up. MAX I don't know. Maybe it's a language problem. (getting stern) Anita, you ever cause this much heartache over something that could easily be avoided, I'll never write you again. You understand? ANITA I understand. MAX I mean it. I don't care how many times your mother calls or how much she cries. Like an exasperated teenager. ANITA I understand. MAX Then say "Yes, Max. I understand." ANITA Yes, Max, I understand. INT. L.A. COUNTY JAIL - NIGHT POV THROUGH A WIRE MESH CAGE Max and Anita, side by side. Anita's hands are cuffed behind her back. MAX Dropping off and picking up. Dropping of Lopez, Anita. Picking up Brown, Jackie. We're at the admitting desk of the L.A. County Jail. Max undoes Anita's handcuffs, while a SHERIFF waits to take her away. ANITA So you're gonna call Karen tomorrow? MAX I'll call her. ANITA Won't forget? MAX I won't forget. She kisses Max on the cheek and the Sheriff takes her away. ANITA Thanks, Max. See you later. Max puts the cuffs away, sits on a bench, takes out a Len Deighton paperback and begins to read. FADE TO BLACK FADE UP: MAX Still reading his novel. We hear offscreen, a SHERIFF'S voice. SHERIFF (O.S.) Max! Here she comes. Max puts his book down and see - Jackie being led into the Admitting Area by TWO SHERIFFS. She's wearing her stewardess uniform and carrying a small envelope with her belongings in it and her shoes. When Max was imagining a woman in her forties, he had someone with a bit of wear and tear on them in mind. But this Jackie Brown's a knockout. As he watches her, she steps out of the County Jail slippers she was wearing and slips into her shoes. He approaches, handing her his card. MAX Miss Brown... I'm Max Cherry. I'm your bail bondsman. She takes the card and shakes his hand saying nothing. MAX (CONT'D) I can give you a lift home if you'd like? JACKIE Okay. INT. MAX'S CADILLAC - NIGHT Max puts his key in the ignition, when Jackie asks; JACKIE Are you really a bail bondsman? MAX Who do you think I am? She doesn't answer. MAX (CONT'D) I gave you my card there. JACKIE Can I see your I.D.? MAX You're serious? She waits. Max digs the case out of his pocket, hands it to her, then reaches up and turns on the light above them for her to see. MAX'S ID: SURETY AGENT LICENSED BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA JACKIE Who put up my bond? Ordell? MAX In cash. She looks straight ahead. Max shifts into drive. Max rolls down his window at the front gate. A DEPUTY comes out of the gatehouse and hands through the window Max's .38 revolver, cylinder opened. Max hands the Deputy his pass in exchange for the gun, says "thanks", then puts the .38 in his glovebox in front of Jackie. He drives on. MAX AND JACKIE (MOVING) JACKIE Can we stop for cigarettes? MAX Sure, ever been to the Riverbottom? JACKIE I don't think so. MAX It's okay. It's a cop hangout. JACKIE Couldn't we just stop at a seven- eleven? MAX I thought you might want a drink? JACKIE I'd love one, but not there. MAX We could stop at the Hilton by the airport. JACKIE Is it dark? MAX It's kind of a sports bar JACKIE That doesn't sound dark. MAX Why does it need to be dark? JACKIE 'Cause I look like I just got outta jail, that's why. You droppin' me off at home, right? There's a place by me. MAX Great. CUT TO: EXT. THE COCKATOO INN - NIGHT A big neon sign of a cockatoo sits on op of a red brick inn. INT. THE COCKATOO INN - NIGHT CLOSEUP - A KNOB is pulled out. Jackie picks up a pack of Mild Seven's cigarettes from the bottom of a cigarette machine. She crosses the bar to join Max, sitting at a small table waiting for her to return. The Cockatoo Inn is just what Jackie was looking for. A dark and red cocktail lounge in Hawthorne off of Hawthorne Boulevard by the apartment where the stewardess lives (about ten minutes from LAX) The clientele of the Cockatoo is an older, black crowd and an even older white crowd who'd been coming here years before it became a black bar. A JUKEBOX plays soft, old-school R&B. Jackie and Max sit side by side at a small table, lit by a bar candle in a red glass thing. Max drinks Bushmills over crushed ice. Jackie drinks white wine. Jackie opens her Mild Sevens, offering one to Max. MAX No thanks, I quit three years ago. As she lights her cigarette. JACKIE You gain weight? MAX Ten pounds. I lose it and put it back on. JACKIE That's why I don't quit. If I can't fly anymore, I'm gonna have a bitch of a time gettin' my brand. MAX What's your brand? JACKIE Davidoffs. I get 'em in Mexico. They're hard to find here. I was locked up with the last two getting legal advice from a woman who was in for bustin' her boyfriend's head open with a baseball bat. MAX Was she helpful? JACKIE She was more helpful than the fuckin' Public Defender. (she takes a sip of wine) I don't know - I guess what I need is a lawyer, find out what my options are. MAX You know, I figured out the other day I've written something like' fifteen thousand bonds since I've been in the business. I'd say about eighty percent of them were at least drug related. If you want, I can help you look at your options. Jackie takes the talk in a different direction. JACKIE You're not tired of it? MAX (smiles) I am, as a matter of fact. A moment of silence between them, they both take drinks. MAX (CONT'D) What have they told you? JACKIE So far I've been told I can cooperate and get probation, maybe. Or, I can stand mute and get as much as five years. Does that sound right? MAX I'd say if you're tried and found guilty you won't get more than a year and a day. That's State time. Prison. JACKIE (under her breath) Shit. MAX But they won't want to take you to trial. They'll offer you simple Possession, a few months of County time, and a year or two probation. (pointing to her drink) How 'bout another? JACKIE Sure. Max gestures to an older black cocktail waitress named ROWEN for two more. MAX You know who put the dope in your bag? JACKIE Yeah, but that's not what this was about. They were fuckin waitin' for my ass. They knew I had that money, they even knew the amount. The one who searched my bag, from L.A.P.D., Dargus, hardly even looked at it. "Oh, I'd say there's fifty thousand here. What would you say?" But all they could do was threaten me and hand me over to Customs, and I could tell they didn't want to do that. MAX They wanted you to tell them what you know. JACKIE I had 'em too. I burnt those two Starky and Hutch motherfuckers down. Then their asses lucked out and found that coke. MAX What did they want to know? JACKIE Who gave me the money and who I was giving it to. And some guy they found in a trunk with his head blown off. Said it was him who told them 'bout me. The Waitress comes with the drinks. ROWEN Can I get you two some popcorn? MAX No, thanks. Rowen exits. MAX (CONT'D) That would be Beaumont Livingston. JACKIE That's him. How do you know 'em? MAX I wrote him on Monday. They found him dead on Tuesday. JACKIE Ordell pick up his bond? MAX Same as you. Ten thousand. JACKIE The federal agent kinda half hinted Ordell might of done Beaumont. MAX You mentioned a guy from L.A.P.D., but you didn't mention the Federal. JACKIE I didn't? MAX No, you didn't. What branch? JACKIE Ray Nicolet with Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Max puts it together. MAX He's the one who wants you. JACKIE It was the other guy who busted me. MAX 'Cause if he busted you, you'd play hell bonding out of federal court. He doesn't want you mad at him, he wants you to tell him what you know. He uses you to get a line on Ordell, make a case, then take him federal. You know what Ordell's into? JACKIE I have a pretty good idea. Ordell aint no bootlegger and I doubt he's smugglin' Cuban cigars. So that only leaves one thing an A.T.F. man would be interested in. Jackie waits a moment before answering, weighs things in her mind and makes a decision. JACKIE I used to bring over ten thousand at a time. That's the legal limit, so I never brought more than that. MAX How many trips did you make? JACKIE With ten thousand? Nine. MAX He's got that kinda money? JACKIE It's all in lock boxes in a Mexico bank. But he's got a problem. He's - what do you call it when you got money, but don't have cash? MAX Cash poor? JACKIE That's it. He's cash poor. He kept on me till I finally said okay. I'll bring whatever fits in a nine-by- twelve envelope. I got paid five hundred dollars, and his friend, Mr. Walker, in Mexico gave me the envelope. MAX If you knew bringing anything over ten thousand was against the law, why not pack a hundred grand? Jackie gets exasperated. JACKIE Whatever it was had to fit in my bag and not hit you in the face if the bag was opened. This ain't solvin' my problem. I gotta figure out a way to either keep my job or get out of trouble. I'm of today, but if I can't leave the country I'm out of a job. And if I don't got a job, I can't hire a lawyer. MAX Ask A.T.F. They might give you permission. JACKIE Yeah, if I cooperate. MAX Well, Jackie, you got caught, you're gonna have to give 'em something. JACKIE But if all I can give 'em is Ordell's name - I don't really know shit about what he does or how he does it - That don't give me much to bargain with. MAX Give 'em what you got. Offer to help. Show a willingness to be helpful. You want to stay out of jail, don't you? Max looks at Jackie thinking about something. MAX (CONT'D) What'dya think? CLOSEUP JACKIE JACKIE I think maybe I have more options than I thought. DISSOLVE TO: CLOSEUP: ORDELL Sitting in his black Mercedes, parked across the street from Jackie's apartment building in Hawthorne. Johnny Cash is playing inside his car. EXT. JACKIE'S APARTMENT COMPLEX - NIGHT ORDELL'S POV Through the windshield, he sees Max's powder-blue Cadillac Seville pull up to Jackie's apartment. She gets out, ten bends down and talks to him through the window of the passenger side door. Then makes a goobye gesture and turns, walking into her apartment complex. Max drives off. ORDELL While Johnny Cash continues crooning, Ordell puts on his gloves. Then opens up his glovebox, taking out a little Targa .22 pistol. He steps out of the car, slipping the pistol into his coat pocket. We STEDICAM in front of him as he walks across the street to Jackie's apartment. Once inside the complex, Ordell passes us and WE FOLLOW BEHIND HIM, up to Jackie's ground-floor apartment door. He gives it a soft knock with one knuckle. He waits a moment, then Jackie opens the door. ORDELL How you doing, Ms. Jackie? JACKIE I was expecting you. Come in. Jackie holds the door open for him. INT. JACKIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT Ordell steps inside. He moves over by a halogen lamp in the living room. ORDELL You got some booze? Jackie still standing by the door. She doesn't look frightened. JACKIE I got some vodka in the freezer. ORDELL Got some o.j.? JACKIE Yeah. Ordell turns the halogen lamp to dim. ORDELL Well, then, why don't you be a good hostess and make me a screwdriver? JACKIE Sure. Jackie moves into the kitchen area. Ordell follows her, hanging in the doorway, while she makes the drink. Jackie doesn't turn on the light. ORDELL You gonna thank me? Taking a glass from the cupboard. JACKIE For what? ORDELL Who you think got your ass outta jail? Opening the freezer and filling a glass with ice cubes and taking out vodka. JACKIE The same guy who put me in, thanks a lot. ORDELL Hey, you get caught with blow, that's our business. Opens refrigerator, light cuts into the kitchen. She takes out orange juice, then closes the door. JACKIE It wasn't mine. Ordell has to stop and think. Jackie makes screwdriver. ORDELL Oh, shit. I bet it was that present Mr. Walker was sending Melanie. Yaaaah, he's the one musta put it in there if you didn't. Oh, man, that shit's uncalled for, baby, and I apologize. I 'magine they asked you a shitload of questions about it, huh? All that money, want to know where you got it? Jackie doesn't answer. She just walks up to Ordell handing him his yellow drink in the darkness. Ordell takes it, continues to look at Jackie. ORDELL (CONT'D) I'magine they asked who you givin' it to, too. JACKIE They asked. ORDELL And what was your answer? JACKIE I said I wanted to talk to a lawyer. ORDELL You positive about that? You weren't nervous and let something slip by mistake? If you did, I ain't mad, I just gotta know. Jackie says to his face; JACKIE You're not asking the right questions. Then she walks past him back to the living room. She goes over to the halogen lamp, turning the light up brighter, then moves by the door, still standing and looking at Ordell in the kitchen doorway. JACKIE Beaumont Livingston. ORDELL I knew it. JACKIE And they asked if I knew Mr. Walker. Ordell by the halogen lamp. He turns it back to dim. ORDELL Yeah? JACKIE I didn't tell 'em anything. Ordell moves slowly towards Jackie. ORDELL My name come up? Jackie slowly shakes her head "no." Ordell directly in front of Jackie, he gently places his gloved hands on her shoulders. ORDELL (CONT'D) You say anything about me? Jackie shakes her head "no." ORDELL (CONT'D) Well, that's mighty honorable of you. Ordell's gloved fingertips move up her collarbone to her throat, gently touching her skin. Jackie locks eyes with his, but still shows no fear. ORDELL (CONT'D) This fella Beaumont, they say what happened to him? JACKIE They told me. At this moment the film becomes a: SPLIT SCREEN On the RIGHT-HAND SIDE is Ordell with his hands barely touching Jackie's throat. On the LEFT-HAND SIDE is Max driving home in his Seville. MAX IN CAR Max drives home, an almost moony romantic look no his face. He can't stop thinking about Jackie. During the night she'd have a gleam in her eyes, the look saying; "WE COULD HAVE FUN". Unless she was appraising kinda him with the look, making a judgment and what it said was; "I COULD USE YOU". Either way it was a turn-on. Max pulls into the driveway of his small house in Torrance. ORDELL AND JACKIE ORDELL Yeah, somebody musta been real mad at Beaumont. Or they were afraid of what he might say to keep from doin some time. I'magine from time-to-time they asked you a whole shitload of questions. And you didn't give 'em no answer? Jackie shakes her head from side to side. Ordell moves his thumbs from her collarbone to the middle of her throat. ORDELL You scared of me? Jackie shakes her head from side to side without her eyes leaving his. Reaches over the seat ORDELL You got a reason to be nervous with me? With his hands on Jackie's throat, staring into the woman's eyes, from BELOW FRAME then feels something hard the fuck against his crotch. Neither break eye contact. Ordell hears a CLICK. Can't believe it. MAX IN CAR Max takes his keys, then to the glove box... THE GLOVE BOX The gun is gone. MAX Where is it? A CLOSEUP OF MAX'S GUN IN ORDELL ORDELL'S CROTCH ORDELL Is that what I think it is? JACKIE What do you think it is? CLOSEUP GUN IN CROTCH ORDELL I think it's a gun pressing against my dick. JACKIE You thought right... Now take your hands from around my throat, nigga. Ordell flashes his hustler's smile and lets go. END OF SPLIT SCREEN Jackie turns Ordell around, gun firmly in his back, and pushes him against the wall. ORDELL What the hell you doin'? JACKIE Shut your ass up and grab the wall! Jackie has Ordell against the wall and is frisking him the way a cop would. She finds the .22 pistol in his pocket ORDELL Now, baby, that's got nothin' to do with you. I just carry that. You been listenin' to them cops too much. JACKIE The cops didn't try and strangle my ass. ORDELL Damn, Jackie, I was just playin' with you. JACKIE Well, I ain't playin with you. I'm gonna unload both these motherfuckers, you don't do what I tell you. Understand what I'm saying? ORDELL Baby, I ain't come here - She shoves both guns in Ordell's back. JACKIE I said, you understand what I'm saying ORDELL I understand woman, damn! JACKIE Go sit over in that chair. Ordell moves over to a chair across from the couch. Ordell still tries bullshit... ORDELL I'm tellin' you, those cops been fuckin' wit your mind. They turn black against black, that's how they do. JACKIE Shut your raggedy ass up and sit down. Ordell sits. JACKIE (CONT'D) Put both hands behind our head. Ordell does... ORDELL This shits gettin silly now... Jackie turns the halogen lamp to light. JACKIE I gotta tell you to shut up one more time, I'm gonna shut you up. Jackie sits down on the couch, holding a gun in each hand, both pointed dead at Ordell. A coffee table lays between them. Ordell, hands behind his head, continues to mumble... ORDELL I just came here to talk. JACKIE Way I see it, me and you only got one thing to talk about. What you willing to do for me? Ordell looks at her a moment and says; ORDELL Well, I can get you a good lawyer - Jackie shakes her head "no!" JACKIE Let's get realistic, baby. Sooner or later they're gonna get around to offering me a plea deal, and you know that. That's why you came here to kill me. ORDELL - Baby, I didn't - JACKIE - It's okay. I forgive you. Now, let's say if I tell on you, I walk. And if I don't, I go to jail. Ordell, very interested. ORDELL Yeah? JACKIE One hundred thousand put in an escrow account in my name, if I'm convicted up to a year, or put on probation. If I have to do more than a year, you pay another hundred thousand. Ordell just takes in what the woman said. ORDELL I got a problem... JACKIE All your money's in Mexico. Ordell has to smile at the woman. ORDELL Yeah. JACKIE I been thinkin about that, too, and I got me a idea. TIME CUT: DOORWAY Ordell goes through FRAME, out the door, Jackie steps into FRAME, and talks with him. JACKIE I'll talk to the cops tomorrow and tell you if it's on. ORDELL (O.S.) Talk to you tomorrow. Ordell leaves. Jackie shuts the door, and leaves FRAME. FADE TO BLACK OVER BLACK We hear a knock-knock on the door. FADE UP ON: SAME SHOT DORWAY Except it's day. Jackie in a bathrobe steps into FRAME and opens the door. She says to the yet-unseen-by-camera visitor; JACKIE You want your gun, don't you? Come in. I'll go get it. She leaves FRAME, and Max enters it, closing the door behind him. Max stands by the door, a little surprised and a touch pissed at the nonchalantness. As he stands on the threshold to her living room, waiting for her to return with the gun, feeling foolish, he thinks about hauling her ass back to the stockade. That'll change her expression, he'd bet. She returns from the bedroom, gun in hand, wearing a sort of sad smile. JACKIE (CONT'D) Max, I'm sorry. I was afraid if I asked to borrow it you'd say no. You'd have to. Would you like some coffee? Then, as quickly as the anger rose in Max, it dissipates completely, leaving only curiosity. MAX If you're having some. JACKIE I am. Have a seat. Jackie head to the kitchen, making the coffee. Max sits at the dining table off of the kitchen. MAX You get a chance to use it? JACKIE I felt a lot safer having it. My milk went bad when I was in jail. MAX Black's fine. She puts a finger in the coffeemaker and starts scooping coffee in it. MAX (CONT'D) You want to hang on to it awhile? It wouldn't be legal, but if it makes - Jackie goes to the sink, filling the coffee pot. JACKIE Thanks, but I have my own now. MAX You went out this morning and bought a gun? She turns off the water. JACKIE What, I couldn't hear you? MAX You went out this morning and bought a gun. Pouring water into the coffee machine. JACKIE Let's just say I got one, okay? She turns on the coffeemaker. MAX Somebody loan it to you? JACKIE Yeah. Jackie leaves the kitchen. Max's eyes follow her to the living room. JACKIE (CONT'D) Want to hear some music? MAX Sure. Jackie ends her knees and goes through a stack of records leaned up against the wall on the floor. JACKIE I couldn't wait till I got home last night and wash my hair. MAX It looks nice. She finds a record, takes it out of the pile, removes the album from the sleeve, and places it on her stereo turntable. MAX (CONT'D) You never got into the whole CD revolution? JACKIE I got a few. But I can't afford to start all over again. I got too much time and money invested in my records. The song starts; it's an old romantic soul music number from the early seventies. MAX Yeah, but you can't get new stuff on records. Jackie picks up her cigarettes off the coffee table. JACKIE I don't buy new stuff that often. Jackie enters the kitchen door frame by Max. She lights a cigarette and stands. Max listens to the soul song. MAX This is pretty. JACKIE Uh-huh. MAX Who is this? JACKIE The Delfonics. MAX '76? JACKIE '74, I think. MAX It's nice. They listen for a moment. JACKIE I called in sick this morning. As far as the airline knows, I'm still available. MAX Are you? JACKIE I don't know yet. 'm going to talk with Dargus and Nicolet today. Do what you suggested. Offer to help and see what happens. MAX What I meant was have a lawyer do the negotiating for you. JACKIE I want to talk to them first. I know more now about Ordell's money. MAX Well, if the A.T.F. guy is the one who wants you, that'll only interest him up to a point. JACKIE It's a lot of money. About a half-a- million dollars. All of it in Cabo in safe deposit boxes and more comin in. MAX How'd you find that out? JACKIE He told me last night. MAX He called you? JACKIE He came by. MAX What?... What'd you do? JACKIE We talked. Jackie goes back in the kitchen. Coffee's almost there, but not quite. She pulls down two mugs from a cabinet. JACKIE (CONT'D) He had his doubts at first. But he's always trusted me an wants more than anything to believe he still can. MAX Why? JACKIE He needs me. Without me all that money is just gonna sit over there in Cabo. Sugar? MAX No thanks. There's gotta be other ways to get it out. She pours the coffee. JACKIE Maybe, but 'm the only one he's ever used. He can't trust his other people. They're crooks. He can try bringing I in himself, but Ordell sure don't want to go through no Customs line. Either he recruits another Cabo stewardess, or he continues to trust me. I made him feel he still can. Jackie walks to the table with the two coffee mugs and sits down. MAX How do you get it out? JACKIE Same way I been don', but first they got to let me go back to work. MAX You're gonna offer to set him up? JACKIE If I get let off. Otherwise, fuck 'em. MAX It's very possible Ordell's killed somebody. JACKIE I ain't goin' to jail, and I ain't doin' that probation thing again. Max watches her a moment Jackie takes a drink of coffee. JACKIE (CONT'D) How do you feel about getting old? MAX You're not old. You look great. JACKIE I'm asking how you feel. Does it bother you? MAX It's not really something I think about. JACKIE Really? MAX Okay, I'm a little sensitive about my hair. It started falling out ten years ago. So I did something about it. JACKIE How'd you feel about it? MAX I'm fine with it, or I wouldn't of done it, I did it to feel better about myself, and I do. When I look in the mirror it looks like me. JACKIE It's different with men. MAX You know, I can't really feel too sorry for you in that department. Jackie smiles. MAX (CONT'D) In fact, I'd make a bet that except possibly for an Afro - you look exactly the same as you did at twenty nine. Jackie smiles into her coffee. JACKIE My ass ain't the same. MAX Bigger? JACKIE Yeah. Max smiles. MAX Nothin wrong with that. Jackie's smile grows bigger. MAX (CONT'D) Does something else worry you? JACKIE I just feel like I'm always starting over. You said how many bonds you wrote? MAX Fifteen thousand. JACKIE Well, I've flown seven million miles. And I've been waitin' on people almost twenty years. The best job I could get after my bust was Cabo Air, which is about the worst job you can get in this industry. I make about sixteen thousand, with retirement benefits , ain't worth a damn. And now with this arrest hanging over my head, I'm scared. If I lose my job I gotta start all over again, but I got nothin to start over with. I'll be stuck with whatever I can get. And that scares me more than Ordell. DISSOLVE TO: INT. LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT - DAY A.T.F. man, Ray Nicolet, moves down the hallway of the big building... ten heads for the office of Mark Dargus. He reaches the closed door... raps on it. DARGUS (O.S.) Come in. Nicolet opens the door, revealing Dargus and Jackie Brown sitting in the office talking. DARGUS (CONT'D) Great, you're here. NICOLET Hey, Jackie. Jackie waves. Dargus stands up and says to Jackie; DARGUS Let me have a word outside with Agent Nicolet for a moment? JACKIE Take your time. DARGUS Thanks. NICOLET Well just be a minute. JACKIE Can I smoke? DARGUS Go ahead. The two detectives step outside and close the door on Jackie as she pulls out her cigarettes. NICOLET What's going on? DARGUS She wants to make a deal. NICOLET She sound scared? DARGUS She almost sounds scared. NICOLET What's she want? DARGUS She wants to go back to work. NICOLET What's she willing to give us? DARGUS She hasn't one into specifics yet, she's been waiting for you. NICOLET She knows it's my case? DARGUS She ain't said it, but she's not stupid, she knows it's you who wants her. CLOSEUP JACKIE Inside Dargus' office, smoking a Mild Seven. Dargus and Nicolet come back inside. NICOLET Thanks for waiting, Jackie. Now tell me, what can we do for you? JACKIE I need permission to leave the country so I keep my job. NICOLET We can look into that. JACKIE I need it tomorrow. If I don't show up for work tomorrow, I'm fired. NICOLET You know what we want. JACKIE If I'm working, I can help you. DARGUS Help us do what? JACKIE Help you get Ordell Robbie. NICOLET Oh, so now you know him? JACKIE You never asked me if I did or not. DARGUS But now you're telling us now you do. JACKIE 'Course I do - I deliver money for him. NICOLET No shit. You know how he makes hi money? JACKIE He sells guns. NICOLET You ever see him sell guns? JACKIE No. NICOLET Then how do you know he sells guns? JACKIE He told me. Besides, why else would an A.T.F. man be after him? NICOLET How can you help us? JACKIE Short of wearing a wire, I'll do everything I can to help you throw his ass in jail. And in exchange for my help, I need permission to leave the country and immunity. DARGUS You don't want much, do you? JACKIE Can you do it or not? The two cops look at each other. DARGUS (to Nicolet) It's your call. Nicolet looks at Jackie. NICOLE It's possible. FADE TO BLACK TITLE CARD: "LOUIS GARA & MELANIE" CUT TO: FADE UP ON ON TV Helmut Berger slaps a woman in the face with a newspaper, proclaiming he's the "mad dog." The film is an Italian Policier from the seventies. Melanie sits in a comfy chair long-ways, bare legs hanging over the arm. As she watches the TV, she picks up a big bong with it's own handle. He takes a hit. Melanie's dressed in her usual Melanie-uniform of shorts and a loose top. The front door opens, and Ordell and Louis walk through it carrying shopping bags. ORDELL We're back. MELANIE 'Ola! We notice that Louis is sportin' new duds. Louis' new "look" is a retro seventies-style bowling shirt and black jeans. Melanie notices the change. MELANIE (CONT'D) Hey, hey, hey. I think somebody's got some new clothes. ORDELL We been shoppin'. Can't have my boy running around lookin' like a bum on the street. LOUIS I didn't look like a bum. ORDELL But you did have a Salvation Army- thing going. Ordell notices the bong in her hand and the smoke in the air. ORDELL (CONT'D) Goddam, girl. You gettin' high already. It's only two o'clock. Melanie smiles. MELANIE It's that late? Louis sits on the couch. He smiles at the comeback. ORDELL Ha-ha-ha. I'm serious, you smoke too much of that shit. That shit robs you of your ambition. MELANIE Not if your ambition is to get high and watch TV. Melanie and Louis laugh. The phone rings. ORDELL You two a coupla Cheech and Chongs, ain't ya. (he moves towards the phone - to Melanie) Oh, that's okay, I'll get it. He picks it up. ORDELL Hello. (pause) Hey, Jackie... (throwing a hard look at Melanie) No, Jackie, I didn't get your message. MELANIE I was gonna tell you... Ordell gives her a "silence" gesture and look. Melanie trades a look with Louis like "I'm in trouble," all the while smiling like a shark. Louis smiles to himself. Melanie holds up the bong, offering him a hit. Ordell's on the phone. ORDELL No, not on the phone, let's meet somewhere. But you gotta make sure they ain't followin' you... Louis has the bong in front of him. Melanie stays in her chair long-ways. LOUIS Is it ready to go? MELANIE Yeah, there's another hit left. Louis takes it. Ordell's on the phone. INT. COCKATOO INN Jackie sits at the bar talking on their phone. We see both sides. JACKIE The Cockatoo Inn. ORDELL The Cockatoo Inn? Where's that? JACKIE It's right on Hawthorne Boulevard and Manhattan Beach Boulevard. It's red brick... ORDELL Oh, wait, you mean that place that has the big sign with a rooster on it? JACKIE It's a cockatoo. Louis exhales his smoke, does an older man cough. MELANIE You okay? LOUIS Yeah, I'm just gettin' old. I can't smoke or laugh now it seems without coughing. MELANIE Coughing opens up the capillaries. When you cough, you're getting air - in this case smoke - to parts of the lung that don't normally get used. Coughing's good - gets ya higher. My dad coughs when he smokes all the time. Ordell hangs up the phone. ORDELL (to Louis) Hey, Louis, I have to go out awhile. So since you like gettin' high so much, why don't you stay here with Melanie, get high, and watch cartoons? Louis with a smile. LOUIS Way ahead of you. Melanie laughs. Ordell takes the remote control and turns the station till he finds a channel with cartoons. ORDELL So you just watch this for the next three hours, and I'll be back. Then, when I'm through with all my business, I'll get high. I get high at night. Walk me to the door, space girl. Melanie climbs out of the chair and walks Ordell to the door, Ordell says to her in the doorway; ORDELL (CONT'D) Hope you don't mind keeping him company. MELANIE No problem. ORDELL Try not to rip his clothes off 'em they're new. Melanie gives him a sarcastic, "Oh, you're so funny" look. Ordell kisses her quick on the mouth, then says past her; ORDELL (CONT'D) I'll be back in an hour, man. Just hang with Mel. Ordell leaves and Melanie closes the door. She turns around and looks at Louis. MELANIE Want a Metrix? LOUIS What's a Metrix? She crosses to the kitchen. MELANIE It's like this major meal in a shake you drink instead of having a big meal. LOUIS It's a diet thing? MELANIE No, it's what body builders drink to beef up. LOUIS No thanks. She goes into the kitchen and starts making her Metrix shake. He looks around and spots something interesting. TWO SMALL PHOTOGRAPHS In a clear, plastic frame. Melanie, circa 1976, at about sixteen wearing roller-disco skates. Melanie, in a green setting, about five years ago, wearing a pretty Oriental- style dress, with a "smile for the camera" look on her face. The photo was obviously a picture of Melanie with somebody else that's been cut in half. Somebody's disembodied arm still rests on her shoulder. Louis picks up the photo frame. LOUIS How old were you here? She looks and sees what he's talking about. MELANIE Which one? LOUIS The roller disco one. MELANIE Fourteen. Louis walks over. LOUIS You're fourteen years old here? MELANIE Yeah. LOUIS I thought you were sixteen. MELANIE I was pretty much the same height now as I was then. LOUIS Were you a disco girl? MELANIE Noooo, I was a surfer girl. Besides, I was only fourteen. I couldn't go to discos. LOUIS So where did you go? MELANIE The beach. Or get high, drop acid at a friend's place. I was a K.L.O.S. girl. I hated disco. She hits Whip on her blender. It makes an infernal noise till she hits Stop! Carrying the blender full of Metrix, she walks over and looks at the picture. MELANIE (CONT'D) That was taken at a place called "Flippers." It was in Hollywood. Were you in L.A. back then? LOUIS No. MELANIE Where were you? LOUIS Detroit. MELANIE With Ordell? LOUIS We had done time together already. Melanie drinks her Metrix. MELANIE Were you a disco guy? LOUIS No. MELANIE C'mon, don't lie. LOUIS I don't like dancing. MELANIE Did you ever go I one? LOUIS I went to a few just to meet women. But I don't like to dance, and it's so fuckin; loud. During that whole scene I just drank in bars. (he points to the cut picture) Who didn't make the cut? MELANIE That's a picture of me in Japan. LOUIS You been to Japan? MELANIE I lived there for about nine months. LOUIS You lived in Japan, when? MELANIE About five years ago. LOUIS Who's arm is that? MELANIE That's the guy I lived with... his name was... Hir.Hirosh. LOUIS Must of made quite an impression. MEALINE I never got to know him, really. I couldn't speak Japanese, and his English was terrible. But I couldn't say anything, because his English was better than my Japanese. LOUIS That sounds like a problem. MELANIE Not really. We didn't have much to say to each other anyway. I never got to know him that well, but I knew enough to know I wasn't missing much. I keep that, because of all the fuckin' time I was there, that's the only picture I got of me in Japan. (she points beyond her shoulder) That's Japan. Melanie looks up at Louis. MELANIE Wanna fuck? LOUIS Sure. FADE TO BLACK OVER BLACK SUBTITLE: "THREE MINUTES LATER" FADE UP: LOUIS Lies on the couch on his back and Melanie sits on top of him. They're going at it like a couple of fuck monkeys. Almost on the fade up, Louis cums. MELANIE That was fun. She hops off and OUT OF FRAME. LOUIS Yeah, that really hit the spot. MELANIE (O.S.) Now that's over, let's get to know each other. INT. MUSIC STORE - DAY CLOSEUP a rack of CDs all beginning with "D" are flipped through, till it stops on one CD, "The Best of the DELFONICS." Max is standing in he soul music section o a music store. He lifts out the CD and turns it over. It has the song Jackie played this morning. He smiles and takes the CD up to the register. CLOSEUP the COCKATOO INN neon sign, unlit during the day. INT. THE COCKATOO INN - DAY Ordell walks into the dark red cocktail lounge in the middle of the day and sees Jackie sitting at the bar drinking a white wine. Old-school soul plays on the jukebox. He sits next to her. ORDELL I gotta remember this place. This is all right. Two minutes from your crib, ten minutes from your work. Not bad... A black bartender named FLOYD approaches Ordell. FLOYD What's your drink, brother? ORDELL Screwdriver. FLOYD (to Jackie) How you doin'? JACKIE I'm fine. FLOYD Yes, you are. Jackie smiles. Floyd makes Ordell's drink. ORDELL I bet you come here on a Saturday night, you need nigga repellent keep 'em off your ass. JACKIE I do okay. ORDELL You a fine lookin' woman, Jackie. I bet you do a damn sight better than okay. You think anybody followed you? JACKIE I don't think so, but it don't really matter. They know I'm meeting you. ORDELL How the fuck they know that? JACKIE I told them. Floyd comes back with Ordell's screwdriver. FLOYD Three twenty-five. Ordell digs in his pocket and gives Floyd a five. ORDELL Keep it. FLOYD Thank you, sir. Floyd leaves. ORDELL (to Jackie) You told em? You told em it's me? JACKIE They already know it's you. ORDELL Well, shit. That don't mean you gotta confirm it! JACKIE Look, the only way I can get permission to fly is if I agree to help them. Which is what I have to appear to be doing. So I give them something they already know. You. ORDELL Didja tell 'em anything else? JACKIE I told them you got a half a million dollars in Mexico, and you want me to bring it here. Ordell freaks. ORDELL You told them that? JACKIE It's true, isn't it? ORDELL What the fuck's that got to do with it? JACKIE They know I'm delivering for you. I mention the half-million - they don't give a fuck about that - They want you with guns. So I say, well, if you want proof he's getting paid for selling them, let me bring the money in. ORDELL What did they say? Jackie smiles. JACKIE Yes. Ordell smiles. They both slap palms. CUT TO: INT. MELANIE'S BEACH APARTMENT - DAY CLOSEUP - Louis taking a hit off Melanie's bong. Louis and Melanie are back in the living room, kicking back, taking bong hits. As Louis gets his hit, Melanie talks; MELANI ... so first he tries to get into the cocaine business but realizes right away that shit's too competitive. Piss the wrong person off, you get shot. So he says, fuck that - moves over to guns. You can sell guns wherever there's a demand. No one gives a shit. He acts like he's this big international arms dealer, when, come on, the only people he ever sold to were dopers. Louis finishes his hit and slides the bong back across the coffee table to Melanie. LOUIS He seems to be making out. Referring to the bong. MELANIE Is it dead? LOUIS Yeah. She starts preparing a bowl. MELANIE Well, so far he is. But you have to admit he's not too bright. LOUIS I wouldn't go so far as to say that. Melanie still preparing her bowl. MELANIE He moves his lips when he reads, what does that tell ya. Let's say he's streetwise. I'll give 'im that. He's still a fuck-up. She takes a major bong hit... holds in the smoke... then while holding in the smoke, says; MELANIE (CONT'D) He killed a man worked for him the other night. LOUIS So what are you trying to tell me? I should get out of here? Melanie lets out her stream of smoke and flashes her shark smile. MELANIE That's not what I'm saying at all. (pause) You know where he went? LOUIS No. MELANIE He went to meet that stewardess. LOUIS Does that bother you? Melanie lets out a sarcastic laugh. MELANIE Please. LOUIS You live with him. MELANIE I live here. He drops in and out. He tell you about that half-million dollars he's got in Mexico? LOUIS Uh-huh? MELANIE Course he did, he tells everybody who'll listen. That's what he's doin' with this stewardess. He's scheming how he can get it over here. LOUIS And your point is? MELANIE Let him and that stewardess get that money over here... LOUIS Uh-huh? MELANI ... and just take it from him. INT. COCKATOO INN - DAY Jackie explaining the plan to Ordell. JACKI ... I make two deliveries. The first one with ten thousand, like a dry run. They watch it. See how it works. Then we do a second delivery, when I bring in the half mill. ORDELL Naw, naw, that's too much exposure. I ain't goin anywhere near that money. JACKIE You don't have to. I told 'em you're real careful. You never pick up money yourself. You always send someone, and I never know who it is. ORDELL That's a good idea. JACKIE If you just listen, you'll see it's a damn good idea. The first time I do it they're lurking about. They see me hand the ten thousand to someone. ORDELL Who? JACKIE I don't know. One of your friends. ORDELL A woman. JACKIE If you want. ORDELL Yeah, I think a woman. JACKIE The next trip, when I come with all the money, it'll look like I hand it to the same one I did before... ORDELL But you don't? JACKIE No, I give it to someone else first. ORDELL And they follow the wrong one thinkin' she's bringing it to me. JACKIE That's the idea. ORDELL So we need two people, two women. JACKIE Can you cover that? ORDELL I got the woman covered. Where you thinkin' about doin' this? JACKIE I was thinkin' the Del Amo Mall. In the food court. ORDELL I suppose you see a piece of this for yourself? JACKIE Well, it's my plan. We're in this together. ORDELL Yeah, but it's my money, and I don't need me a partner. JACKIE I ain't your partner, I'm your manager. I'm managing to get your money out of Mexico, into America, in your hands, and I'm managing to do all this under the nose of the cops. That makes me your manager, and managers get fifteen percent. ORDELL Managers get ten percent. JACKIE That's an agent. Manager's get fifteen percent. ORDELL I'll give ya ten. JACKIE Plus the same deal as before. ORDELL I can do that. They clink their glasses together. CLOSEUP DIGITAL CLOCK It flips to 11:00 P.M. It's now getting late at night. Jackie comes home. She's dressed differently than she was at the Cockatoo. In fact, she looks like she's coming home from a date. She walks into her bedroom... kicks off her shoes... takes her earring off, putting them on the night-stand by the bed... she sees that her answering machine is flashing. She hits play. We begin a SLOW ZOOM into the answering machine. Never seeing Jackie again. The machine voice says; MACHINE VOICE (O.S.) You have on message. Sent at 8:06 P.M. Max's voice comes out of the machine. MAX'S VOICE (O.S.) Hi, Jackie. It's Max. I was just calling to find out how everything went today with A.T.F. If you want to call me, my home number is 555-6788, or you can reach me at my office, which is 555-B-A-I-L. That's also on the card I gave you when we first met - I don't know if you still have that - but it's on it - Oh, let me give you my beeper number. It's 555-7839. Okay, so I'll talk to you later. Hope everything's well. Bye-bye. MACHINE VOICE (O.S.) End of message. FADE TO BLACK FADE UP ON: EXT. DEL AMO MALL - DAY We se the huge Del Amo Mall from the parking area. A SUBTITLE reads: "DEL AMO MALL TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA LARGEST INDOOR MALL IN THE WORLD" INT. DEL AMO MALL - FOOD COURT - DAY The Del Amo Mall on a lazy midday in the middle of the week. A few people, mostly black, mill around, but it's not like it is on the weekend. The international food court, where fast-food versions of international cuisine are available to all the hungry Del Amo Mall shoppers. Jackie and Ordell sit at a table in the food court. She drinks an iced tea from Teriyaki Donut. A collection of Broadway shopping bags sit on the table. We join in mid-conversation. JACKIE The money's in a Broadway shopping bag. I get some food, and sit down here in the food court. Then your girl comes - you got somebody yet? ORDELL Uh-huh. JACKIE Who? ORDELL What'd you care? JACKIE Look, it's my ass facin' the penitentiary. You send some hard- headed roc whore, and she fucks things up. ORDELL I ain't gonna send no roc whore. The woman's cool, I promise. INT. DEL AMO MALL - U.A. CINEMAS - DAY We're outside the Del Amo UA Cinemas, a six-screen theater that's been in the Del Amo Mall since the early seventies. A small afternoon crowd is exiting the cinema, having just watched their matinee. Max Cherry is among them. He exits the theater, and strolls through the mall. BACK TO JACKIE AND ORDELL In the food court. Ordell rises from the table. Jackie moves a Broadway bag towards him. JACKIE Don't forget your bag. He takes it. We follow with Ordell out of the food court, when he stops... ... He see Max Cherry strolling through the mall. Ordell almost steps into a store to get out of view. "What the fuck is Max Cherry doing here?" As Ordell watches, he sees Max head towards the food court. MAX walks into the food court. He stands looking a all the international fast food choices in front of him. As he tries to decide, he hears from behind him; JACKIE (O.S.) Max. Max turns and sees Jackie siting there drinking her iced tea, smoking her Mild Seven, and smiling up at him. Max smiles back. MAX Well, hello. JACKIE Surprise. He approaches her table. MAX I walked right past you. JACKIE I know, ignoring me. What're you up to? MAX Catching a movie. JACKIE What'd ya see? MAX "American Prseident" JACKIE How was it? MAX Pretty good. Me and Annette Bening are goin steady. JACKIE Oh, are you? Does she know that? MAX No... (sitting down at the table) ... I don't believe she's ever heard of me. But that doesn't mean we're not going steady. BACK TO ORDELL Watching Max sit down and make himself comfortable at Jackie's table. ORDELL (to himself) What's up with this shit. BACK TO MAX AND JACKIE MAX I think falling in live with movie stars is something that happens to a man as he gets older. JACKIE Does it happen to all men? MAX Well, I'd never be so bold as to speak for all men, but as or myself and a few of my friends, that's definitely the case. There's a lot of actresses out there you like, and there's some you have crushes on. But there's always one who you love. And with her it's sorta like going steady. JACKIE And Annette's it for you? MAX For now. These relationships never last too long. With a smile on her face; JACKIE That's a goddam man for ya. Can't even be faithful to a fuckin' movie star. Max smiles. JACKIE Who was your girl before Annette? MAX Sandra Bullock. You know her? JACKIE Yeah, she's the girl who drove the bus in "Speed." She's cute. MAX She's adorable. But I had to end it. JACKIE Why? MAX I'm old enough to be her father. JACKIE How old's Annette? MAX I don't care. Gesturing to the Broadway bags on the table. MAX What're you, a bag lady? JACKIE I go back to work tomorrow. MAX You talk them into it? JACKIE They seem to like the idea. MAX Bring the money in and they follow it? JACKIE Yea, but I'm going to dress it up. Put the money in a shopping bag and hand it to someone I meet here. MAX You don't actually do it that way? JACKIE He always just picked it up at my place. But with A.T.F. involved, I want to stage it. You know, make it look more intriguing, like we know what the fuck we're doin'. Then it's up to Ray Nicolet, the A.T. F. guy to follow the shopping bag. MAX Make the delivery somewhere in the mall. JACKIE Right around here, in the food court. MAX Sit down, leave the bag under the table? Jackie nods her head "yes." MAX (CONT'D) Will Ordell go for that? JACKIE I'm helping him bring his money into America. He loves the idea. You just missed him. MAX He was here? JACKIE Yeah, we were goin' over everything. That's why all the bags. MAX I called you last night. JACKIE I know, I got your message. Ray wanted to have dinner. He wanted to talk about the sting we're plotting. That's what he calls it. A sting. He's being real nice to me. MAX You think he's got a thing for you? JACKIE Maybe. But I'm thinking it might be something like he wants the money for himself. MAX I don't follow your logic. What does his being nice to you have to do with him wanting Ordell's money? JACKIE He's setting me up to make a proposition. MAX I see. JACKIE You don't propose something like that unless you're pretty sure the other person's into it. MAX Has he hinted around? JACKIE Not really. But I knew this narcotics cop one time. Told me that in a raid, the whole package never gets back to the station. His exact words. MAX You know some interesting people. JACKIE We weren't bullshittin' either, 'cause later he was suspended and forced to retire. MAX Has Nicolet told you any colorful stories like that? She shakes her head "no." JACKIE He tries to act cool. MAX No harm in that. He's a young guy havin' fun being a cop. I know the type, trust me on this. He's more interested in Ordell than the money. If he's gonna do anything suspect, it'll be cutting corners to get the conviction; but he wouldn't walk off with the money. It's evidence. JACKIE What about you Max? MAX What? If I was in Nicolet's place? JACKIE No, I mean you, right now. Not it you were somebody else. MAX If I saw a way to walk off with a shopping bag full of money, would I take it? JACKIE You know where it came from. It's not like it's anybody's life savings. It wouldn't even be missed. MAX A half-a-million dollars will always be missed. JACKIE You're avoiding the question. MAX Okay, sure. I might be tempted. Especially now, since I'm getting out of the bail bonds business. Jackie looks at him, "wow, that was a statement," but she doesn't say anything. Max continues. MAX I have to stand behind all my active bonds, but I'm not writing any new ones. JACKIE Why? MAX A lot of reasons. But the main one would be I'm tired of it. JACKIE When did you decide? MAX It's been a long time coming. I finally made up my mind - I guess it was Thursday. FLASH ON: A RELEASE FORM With a date on it. Jackie's hand is signing her name. We WHIP UP and se her face, just as Max Cherry approaches her, handing her his business card. MAX Hi, I'm Max Cherry. Your bail bondsman. BACK TO MAX AND JACKIE JACKIE The day you got me out of jail? MAX Yeah, that night I went to pick up a guy. I hear he's staying at this house, so I sneak in, wait for him to come home. JACKIE Wait a minute. After we were together you went and snuck into a guy's house? MAX Uh-huh. FLASH ON Max is dropping off Jackie at her apartment and saying goodbye. MAX (V.O.) I dropped you off... Max finding no gun in his glove box. MAX (V.O.) Went to my office, found out you took my gun... Max in his office, taking another pistol from his drawer, and a stun gun. MAX (V.O.) Got another gun and a stun gun... BACK TO MAX AND JACKIE MAX And went to this guy's house in El Monte, and I waited for him. JACKIE What do you do when he comes home? MAX Shoot him with the stun gun. While he's incapacitated, cuff him, take 'em to County. JACKIE You do that? MAX That's my job. JACKIE Did you do it that night? MAX He never came home. But I'm sitting on the couch, in the dark, holding my stun gun and the whole house smells of mildew - So after a couple hours I think, "What am I doing here? Nineteen years of this shit? So I made up my mind, that's it. JACKIE And is that it? MAX More or less. Jackie takes a pause before saying; JACKIE I'm not sure you answered my question. MAX Which one? JACKIE If you had a chance, unemployed now, to walk off with a half-million dollars, would you take it? MAX I believe I said I'd be tempted. Jackie smiles at him behind cigarette smoke. MAX Don't even think about it. You could get yourself killed go to prison... CLOSEUP JACKIE JACKIE What if I've figured a way? Hold for a few beats, then... FADE TO BLACK. TITLE CARD: "MONEY EXCHANGE 10,000" Over this card, we hear an airplane landing. FADE UP: CLOSEUP JACKIE Back at work, standing at the exit of her plane. All the passengers are filtering out. She says goodbye. JACKIE Bye bye... Bye now... Goodbye Bye bye... Bye bye... Goodbye INT. LAX PARKING STRUCTURE - DAY Jackie, wearing her stewardess uniform, walks into the LAX parking structure, pulling her bad on wheels behind her. Nicolet and Dargus are waiting for her. NICOLET We gotta stop meeting this way. Jackie smiles. They all fall in step towards Jackie's Honda. INT. JACKIE'S HONDA - DAY The two cops and the black woman sit parked in her Honda. She, behind the wheel, Nicolet next to her in the passenger seat, Dargus in the backseat. Nicolet has the flight bag in his lap. He's taking out the manila envelope with the ten thousand inside. Their demeanor is very different from the first time they met. The three now almost act like friends. DARGUS How was your flight? JACKIE Fine. DARGUS Bet you're happy to be working again. NICOLET This is A.T.F. agent Ray Nicolet, Jackie Brown, Ordell Robbie money exchange trial run. It's three p.m., July 4th 1997. The location is the parking structure at LAX. JACKIE What are you doing? Pointing to a small mike on his lapel. NICOLET I'm recording this. JACKIE I thought you were going to let this one through. DARGUS We are. Don't worry about it. NICOLET Every step of this goes in my report. (back to report voice) I am now taking a manila envelope from the subject's flight bag. He opens it and takes out the ten thousand dollars. NICOLET (CONT'D) The envelope contains currency... all the same denomination, one-hundred- dollar bills. Now, I'm counting it. DARGUS What time do you have to be there? JACKIE Four thirty. I'm meeting a woman. DARGUS What's her name? JACKIE He wouldn't say. You gonna follow her? DARGUS She leaves, somebody'll be on her. JACKIE But you're not going to stop her? Nicolet finishes counting, then hushes them up. NICOLET The envelope contains ten thousand dollars. The subject will be delivering the currency in a... JACKIE A Broadway shopping bag. She holds it up. NICOLET A Broadway shopping bag. A large bag with handles and brown lettering. EXT. DEL AMO MALL - DAY The huge Del Amo Mall. INT. DEL AMO MALL - FOOD COURT - DAY The Del Amo Mall on another lazy midday in the middle of the week. Max rides up an escalator in the mall. He casually strolls through the mall, goes into a cappuccino bar called "BUSTA CAP" across from the food court. Walking up to the counter; MAX Caf� mocha. BUSTA CAP GIRL You want whipped cream on that? MAX No, thanks. Max checks his watch: 4:30. He looks over at the food court and spots Jackie sitting at a table by herself. FLASH ON: INT. JACKIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT Jackie on the phone with Max, dressed for bed (long t- shirt and panties). JACKIE Think of it as money that shouldn't even be here. I mean does anybody have a right to it? INT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS - NIGHT Max in his office on the phone. MAX The feds. It's evidence. JACKIE It may be evidence once they get their hands on it, but right now it's only money. BACK TO MAX AT THE MALL He ponders his words as he watches her from a distance. INT. FOOD COURT - DAY Jackie sits at a table by herself, eating Japanese food from Teriyaki Donut and drinking an iced tea. As she eats she hears; YOUNG GIRL'S VOICE (O.S.) Is this seat taken? Jackie looks up and sees a skinny YOUNG GIRL, black, quite pretty, no older than twenty. She holds a tray filled with tacos, enchiladas, rice and beans and a giant-sized Coke. She also has a Broadway shopping bag hanging from her arm. JACKIE Have a seat. The Young Girl does. Jackie looks at her tray of food. JACKIE (CONT'D) You're hungry? YOUNG GIRL Yes'm. It would seem our Young Girl's from the South. JACKIE Put your bag on the floor, okay? Under the table, right next to mine. The Young Girl who hasn't looked right at Jackie since sitting down, bends sideways to glance under the table. JACKIE (CONT'D) Then when I leave, well, you know. What's your name? She looks up... YOUNG GIRL Sherona? ... then back down at her tray. JACKIE Go ahead, start eating. Sheronda starts eating, head down, hunching close to the tray. JACKIE (CONT'D) Would it bother you if I smoked? Without raising her head, she shakes it from side to side. Jackie takes out a pack of Davidoffs and lights one up with her yellow Bic. As she does this she observes Sheronda eating. JACKIE (CONT'D) Sheronda, can I ask you a question? Are you and Ordell married? Without raising her head. SHERONDA He say we like the same thing as married. JACKIE Do you live together? Sheronda hesitates, then says without raising her head. SHERONDA Most of the times. JACKIE Not every day? Sheronda looks up at her... SHERONDA Sometimes every day, for a while. JACKIE Then you don't see him for a few days? ... She looks back down. SHERONDA Yes'm. JACKIE You know what's in the bag you're taking? SHERONDA He say is a surprise. JACKIE Well, Sheronda, it was nice talking to you. Jackie picks up Sheronda's bag and leaves. INT. DEL AMO MALL - BUSTA CAP - DAY Max drinking his caf� mocha sans whipped cream, watches Jackie leave the Young Girl and with Broadway bag in hand, walk out of the food court. Max watches her walk down the mall when two young men in sport coats, jeans, and cowboy boots step out of a B. Dalton bookstore, stop her and begin talking. Knowing they must be Nicolet and Dargus, he watches one of them take the Broadway bag from Jackie and look inside. They talk for a minute - it would seem about nothing too serious. Jackie nods her head, listens to the two cops, nods her head again, and then walks off. As he watches her walk away from the cops... FLASH ON: JACKIE AND MAX ON PHONE JACKIE You said it yourself. Ray wants Ordell, he don't give a shit about the money. Money won't convict him, guns will. Yeah, sure, if it falls in their lap, they take it. If they know they got it, they'll look for it... but if they don't... BACK TO MAX AT MALL Max watches the two cops turn their attention to the young girl eating in the food court. Max watches her, too. The Young Girl continues to work her way through her Mexican food, when she turns her head to an OLDER BLACK WOMAN sitting at the next table. The older woman says something, and the younger woman hands her the ashtray Jackie was using. Max watches the Young Girl finish her food and get up from the table. She stoops down to get the Broadway shopping bag and walks out of the food court. Max watches Nicolet and Dargus let the Young Girl get a little ahead, then follow after her. They're gone. Max turns back on the older woman all alone. She finishes the coffee she was drinking and stands up, carrying - how about that? - A Broadway shopping bag. The woman heads out of the mall. Max follows her. The older woman walks past us. She heads straight for the exit. EXT. DEL AMO MALL - PARKING LOT - DAY Max follows the woman outside. She walks down a line of cars, then gets in a big, tan Mercury sedan. She drives of... ... but not before Max writes down her license plate number. FLASH ON: MAX AND JACKIE ON PHONE MAX You're rationalizing. JACKIE That's what you do to go through with the shit you start. You rationalize. I can do this, Max, I know I can. But I can't do it without you. INT. MAX'S CADILLAC - DAY Max climbs into his Seville, starts her up, and drives out of the parking lot. CLOSEUP MAX Driving down the street, lost in thought. MAX (to himself) It could work... If she handles the cops right, I could work... He hits 'play' on the dash CD player. The Delfonics fill the cab of the Caddy. CUT TO: BLACK A garage door is lifted open, revealing Ordell and Louis. EXT. STORAGE FACLITY - DAY Ordell and Louis are at Mr. Robbie's storage facility. A VAN is backed up nect to the opening. The facility is pitch black. Ordell ahs a big flashlight in his hand. ORDELL Check this out. He turns on the flashlight. He shines the beam into darkness. We see the facility is filled to the gills with machine guns, shotguns, uzis, a rocket launcher, and handguns of many types. LOUIS How much is there? ORDELL Over half-million dollars worth of merchandise. Ordell opens the back doors of the van. They start unloading machine guns and boxes of ammo. LOUIS Can I ask you about Melanie? ORDELL Sure. LOUIS What's your relationship? ORDELL She one of the women I got set up. I got Melanie in Hermosa Beach. I rent Simone a small house in Compton, and about four blocks away I got me this nineteen-year-old country girl named Sheronda. I found her waitin' for a bus two days outta Alabama, barefoot, country as a chicken coop. Took her to my house in Compton, told her it was Hollywood. LOUIS She believed you? ORDELL Hell, yeah. To her dumb country ass, Compton is Hollywood. Close as she's ever been, anyway. They both laugh together. LOUIS Do you trust Melanie? Ordell stops unloading. ORDELL If this is about you fucked Melanie, I don't give a damn. I ain't a fool. I leave you alone with a bitch like Melanie, you're gonna be fuckin' that twenty minutes after I'm out the door. So say "thank you" and I'll tell you, "you're welcome." LOUIS That's not what I meant when I asked did you trust her. Ordell looks at him. ORDELL She tryin' to work your ass against me, ain't she? LOUIS Yep. ORDELL You didn't even hafta say it. I know the woman. LOUIS Well, why the fuck keep her around? ORDELL (smiling) 'Cause she my fine little surfer gal. She can't do me no harm. Fact she think she can play you against me shows how little she knows. You could teach that bitch for days how it is 'tween me an you, she never understand a damn word. LOUIS Why do you let someone know your business you can't trust? ORDELL I don't hafta trust her, I know her. LOUIS What does that mean? ORDELL You can't trust Melanie. But you can always trust Melanie to be Melanie. Louis starts unloading. LOUIS I still don't understand why you keep her around. ORDELL I told you, man. (smiling) She my fine little surfer gal. EXT. MELANIE'S APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY EXTREME CLOSEUP - Jackie's finger presses a small black button next to the handwritten name, "M. RALSTON." EXTREME CLOSEUP SPEAKER BOX MELANIE'S VOICE (O.S.) (coming out of it) What? JACKIE Bends down to talk in the speaker. JACKIE It's Jackie. INT. MELANIE'S APARTMENT HALLWAY - DAY Jackie walks down the hallway and finds the door. She rings the doorbell. The door opens, she sees Melanie (for the first time) on the other side. Melanie, dressed in a t-shirt, cut offs, doesn't say a word - just turns around and walks away. Once Melanie leaves, she sees Ordell standing inside the apartment, screwdriver in hand, yelling after Melanie; ORDEL ... Now she's gonna pout... He turns his attention to Jackie. ORDELL (CONT'D) Hey, Jackie, c'mon in. Jackie steps inside. She sees Louis (for the first time) sitting on the couch. Ordell says to Louis, but loud enough for Melanie in the other room to hear; ORDELL (CONT'D) She gonna hafta find her sandals... find her bag... find her sunglasses... take twenty damn minutes get her ass out the door. (to Jackie) Jackie - his is Louis, Louis - Jackie. And the chick stompin' around in the other room is Melanie. Melanie comes out of the bedroom with her sunglasses, sandals, bag strung across her shoulders and her keys in her hand. She makes a bee-line towards the door without saying nothin' to nobody. ORDELL (CONT'D) You have a nice time, hear? The door SLAMS behind her. Ordell looks to Jackie, raises his screwdriver and says; ORDELL (CONT'D) Drink? JACKIE I need to talk to you alone. EXT. MELANIE'S APARTMENT - BALCONY - DAY Ordell and Jackie on the balcony. JACKIE I don't want no more fuckin' surprises. We do this the way I laid it out, or we don't do it at all. ORDELL What the hell you talkin' bout? JACKIE Sheronda passin' the money onto someone else, that's what the hell I'm talkin' 'bout. ORDELL How do you know she did that? JACKIE I was there, I saw her do it. ORDELL Well, you weren't supposed to be there. JACKIE I know, but I hung around, 'cause I figured you'd try an' pull some shit like this. ORDELL Now, hold on there. I ain't pullin' no shit. It's my money, I can do whatever the fuck I wanna do with it. JACKIE Not when it's my ass on the line you don't. We do this my way or fuck it. Ordell tries to stop the hostile back and forth. ORDELL Just chill the fuck out, Jackie. It ain't no big thing. The woman you saw was my friend, Simone. She's the one gonna be receiving the money, so I just wanted her to see how it works. She'll be here any minute. Nice woman, you'll like her. Ordell opens the sliding glass and says to Louis in the living room; ORDELL Louis, call Simone and tell her to get her tail over here. We're waitin' on her ass. Louis gets up to make the call. Ordell turns back to Jackie and smiles, holding up his screwdriver. ORDELL (CONT'D) I'm about ready for a refill. Sure I can't tempt you? INT. MELANIE'S APARTMENT - DAY Ordell and Jackie sit on stools around the kitchen counter/bar. Louis sits with them on the phone, silent. JACKIE Nicolet and Dargus stop me at the airport and mark the bills. ORDELL Man, I don't like that part. JACKIE It washes off. I tell them we're doing it the same way as before. They'll follow Sheronda. I hate the idea of leaving her for a fall. ORDELL She won't have no problems 'cause she don't know nothin'. JACKIE Are you sure she don' know about the money? ORDELL She don't know shit about the money. JACKIE What does she think she's gettin? ORDELL I told her this is a game us rich folks play, exchanging gifts. Like a scavenger hunt. She didn't know what that was neither. (to Louis) No answer? Louis shakes his head. LOUIS Uh-huh. ORDELL Hang it up, she's on her way. You gotta listen to this. This involves you. Louis hangs up the phone and joins the debriefing. ORDELL (CONT'D) No, you gonna give her a Robinson's/May bag this time? JACKIE Right, the one Simone gives me. Simone and I'll make the switch at Robinson's/May. She knows what I look like? ORDELL She saw you with Sheronda. So Simone goes to the dress department with her Robinson's/May bag. JACKIE Designer clothes. ORDELL She waits for you to go in the place where you try things on. JACKIE The fitting room. There's a sign over the door. LOUIS Why we doin' I there? JACKIE I have a hunch they'll be watchin' me. We can't risk switching bags out in the open or even in the dining area. That's why it has to be a woman, 'cause we do the switch in the fitting room. ORDELL So you come out with her Robinson's/May bag, go meet Sheronda. Simone peeks out, waits for my man Louis here to give her a signal nobody's watchin'. She leaves the store, gets in her car - mission accomplished. JACKIE Where you gonna be during all this? ORDELL I'm gonna be sittin' at the titty bar In downtown L.A. till my man over here calls me and gives me the O.K. sign. Jackie's pager goes off. She looks at it. JACKIE I gotta go. INT. MELANIE'S APARTMENT - HALLWAY - DAY Ordell walks Jackie to the elevator. ORDELL Who's paging you? JACKIE Ray, the A.T.F. guy. ORDELL That works on my nerves, you bein' so buddy-buddy with him. JACKIE If I wasn't, this wouldn't work. Now once I deliver I'll have to trust you. ORDELL Well, I've been trusting you all this time, haven't I? We agreed on ten percent of what you bring in and that's what you gonna get. They reach the elevator. She presses the button. JACKIE And a hundred thousand if I go to jail. ORDELL We're partners, Baby, sorta. I ain't gonna screw you. You haven't told me where I put it for you. The elevator arrives. Jackie steps in. JACKIE Give it to the bail bondsman, Max Cherry. He'll take care of it. ORDELL Max Cherry? You and him friends now? You tell him about this shit? JACKIE He won't know where the money came from. Only that it's money. ... the elevator shuts... As it shuts Ordell yells;... ORDELL Don't you know all them bail bondsmen are crooks... ... the door shuts. CLOSEUP ORDELL He doesn't like the last piece of new information. EXT. THE STRAND - DAY The Strand is the hip surfer street in downtown Hermosa Beach. Jackie leaves the apartment building. She walks to her car when she spots a funky little beach bar called, "Sally Leroy's." INT. SALLY LEROY'S - DAY Sally Leroy's is a beach bar with surfboards, different beer signs, and pictures of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, James Dean, Ann Margaret, and surfers riding monster waves all over the place. The JUKEBOX plays a loud seventies rock number. BEGINNING OF SHOT The camera picks Jackie up through the window, walking into the place and going up to the bar... A female bartender in her mid-twenties, wearing a plaid workshirt, named WANDA, goes to Jackie. JACKIE Do you have a phone? WANDA Yeah, it's in the back. JACKIE Thanks. ... We follow with her to the back of the bar... the MUSIC is LOUD... the phone booth is occupied by a fat older GUY wearing surf clothes and sporting a mustache like a walrus. Jackie waits for him to finish his call... As she waits, the CAMERA MOVES BACK... until a blonde head of hair comes into the f.g.... The CAMERA MOVES around to a CLOSEUP ON MELANIE, sucking on a beer, moving her head to the music, and watching Jackie. She smiles and steps OUT OF FRAME. END OF SHOT Jackie hears behind her; MELANIE (O.S.) Hey! Jackie turns and sees Melanie holding a beer, standing behind her. JACKIE Oh, hi. MELANIE Buy ya a beer? JACKIE I'm waiting for the phone. MELANIE Good luck. That guy's been in there since I got here. JACKIE Well, I guess I better look for another one, then. Thanks, anyway. Jackie turns to leave. MELANIE I know what you and Ordell got goin'. You sit down and have a beer with me. I'll tell you a secret. Jackie looks at her a moment. JACKIE Sure. MELANIE Great... (calling to the bartender) ... Wanda! Wanda approaches. WANDA What? MELANIE This lady is thirsty. WANDA What do you want? MELANIE What's on tap? WANDA Coors, Sam, Rolling Rock, and Killian's Red. JACKIE Killian's. MELANIE Better get me another Sam's. (to Jackie) Join me in a Jaeger shot? JACKIE Uh-uh. MELANIE Gimme one anyway. WANDA You got it. Wanda goes away. Jackie and Melanie sit at the bar. The MUSIC is LOUD, and they have to talk over it. Melanie moves her head to it during the conversation. JACKIE How long you been with Ordell? MELANIE This time? Almost a year. I've known him forever. JACKIE What were you two fighting about? MELANIE He told me to go outside. (imitating Ordell's voice) "You may leave us now." It's all part of his pathetic attempt to be "the man." You know Mr. Walker don't you? Jackie nods "yes." MELANIE (CONT'D) Mr. Walker's my buddy. Ask him about Ordell. JACKIE That coke was yours, wasn't it? Melanie makes a face to show pain. MELANIE Oh, man, listen. I'm sorry about that. I hope they don't come down on you on my account. Ordell shoulda told you it was in your bag. Wanda brings the drinks. WANDA Seven dollars. Melanie digs in her purse for the money. JACKIE He said he didn't know about it. MELANIE (digging in her purse) You believe that? Yeah, well, I guess you have to trust him. (pulls out a ten) I'd have second thoughts on that, but then I know 'em. Melanie takes her Jaeger shot, lets it go down, then continues. MELANIE (CONT'D) He killed a guy who works for him the other day. JACKIE Beaumont Livingston? MELANIE You already knew that? JACKIE Kinda. MELANIE So tell me. Having all that money in your flight bag - Is it tempting? Jackie nods 'yes', as she sips her beer. MELANIE (CONT'D) I tell you. If Ordell ever sent me to carry in ten thousand dollars, that would be the last motherfuckin' time he saw me. The next trip you're gonna have over half-a-million. If you thought of cutting Ordell out, I sure as hell wouldn't blame you. Jackie smiles. MELANIE (CONT'D) You think I'm kidding? JACKIE Dreaming. MELANIE You know how easy it would be? He won't be anywhere near that mall. Pull one more switch, up front. That's it. half-a-million dollars. Need help? JACKIE (smiling) Keep it between us girls? MELANIE What's that fucker ever done for us? JACKIE (getting off the barstool) I don't think so, but thanks for the beer. Jackie leaves. CLOSEUP MELANIE Watches her go. MELANIE (softly under her breath) Chicken shit. INT. STEAKHOUSE - NIGHT Jackie and Nicolet sit at a steakhouse eating a steak dinner. Nicolet drinks beer, Jackie drinks white wine. JACKIE Ordell has a white guy working for him named Louis. NICOLET You two meet? JACKIE This afternoon before I came here. He was with Ordell at an apartment in Hermosa Beach. I don't know if he lives there, but I can find out. NICOLET You talk to him? JACKIE Not really. NICOLET His full name is Louis Gara. He just got out from serving four years in Susanville. JACKIE What for? NICOLET Bank robbery? Do you know what he does for Ordell? JACKIE I imagine shit needs to be done. NICOLET We've been following Mr. Gara, and he's definitely working for Ordell. FLASH ON: NICOLET AND DARGUS In a car, parked, on surveillance. COPS POV Louis with the van, at the storage facility. NICOLET (V.O.) They served two years together almost twenty years ago in Soledad. But he doesn't live in Hermosa Beach. Ordell's got him staying at a house in. MUG SHOT SIMONE The older woman in the mall. NICOLET (V.O.) ... Compton with a fifty-six-year- old petty thief - woman named Simone Hawkins. BACK TO BAR NICOLET Ever meet her, or they talk about her? JACKIE Not yet. NICOLET Who's the other one? JACKIE White girl named Melanie Ralston. Another girlfriend of Ordell's. NICOLET What's her story? JACKIE It was her coke I got busted with. She knows everything, but she's not part of it, and she's pissed cause she's not part of it. Ordell wouldn't even let her stay at the meeting. She tried to talk me into ripping off Ordell. NICOLET And splittin' with her? JACKIE I'm sure that was the idea. NICOLET What did you say? JACKIE I smiled and walked away. She also told me Ordell killed Beaumont. NICOLET She told you that? JACKIE Uh-huh. NICOLET Was she there? JACKIE She didn't say. NICOLET But she mentioned Beaumont by name? JACKIE Uh-huh. NICOLET Well, this sounds like a lady I'd like to have a word with. So everything's set for tomorrow? JACKIE Right. Everything's the same, except one change... INT. JACKIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT Max sits on the couch in Jackie's apartment drinking white wine. Jackie paces in front of him, white wine in one hand, Davidoff in the other, going over the details of tomorrow. One could notice a slight change in Jackie. There's a bit of an edge to Miss Brown that's bubbling underneath her cool surface. It's understandable. After all, she's been the architect of this half-a-million dollars switcheroo. She's moved heaven and earth to make all the pieces fall into place, and all the players thnk what she wants them to think. As she talks to Max she knows tomorrow all her hard work will either fail or succeed. But don't take this difference the wrong way. This edge I'm referring to is not one born out of fear (Jackie's nervous, but she's not afraid). It's more the edge an athlete might feel before an all-important competition. JACKIE I told them Ordell's changed the amount he's bringing in. MAX Do you think they bought it? JACKIE Oh, yeah. I got them thinking Ordell's real nervous. They love thinking he's scared of them. MAX You know, a good cop won't let you know he knows you're fulla shit. JACKIE All he needed was a reasonable explanation. DISSOLVE TO: BACK TO JACKIE WITH NICOLET MEDIUM JACKIE JACKIE Right. Everything's the same except one change. Ordell thinks it's just too hot right now to bring in all his money. He knows you're watching him, and he's paranoid. He's keeping his stash where it is, but he wants to bring in fifty thousand for bail in case he needs it. CUT TO: BACK TO JACKIE AND MAX MAX It'll be more than that. JACKIE Don't be so literal. Ray believed it. MAX But you still have to show him the money at the airport. JACKIE Well, you know I'm not going to show him the whole amount. He'll see fifty thousand. MAX Where's the rest of it? JACKIE In the bag underneath. MAX What if he checks it? JACKIE He won't - I mean, he didn't the last time. He'll be expecting fifty thousand and there it is - on top. MAX You're takin' a helluva chance kid. JACKIE Not really. If he finds it, I say Mr. Walker put the money in, and I didn't know nothing about it. Like the coke. MAX Then you're out and you get nothing. JACKIE Yeah, but I'm not in jail and I tried. MAX You're gonna have surveillance all over you. JACKIE That's why you don't make a move till I come out of the fitting room. MAX In a dress. JACKIE Well, a suit. There's one I had my eye on. The phone rings. JACKIE (CONT'D) Excuse me. INT. MELANIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT EXTREME CLOSEUP - Ordell on the phone ORDELL It's Ordell. We got a bit of a change in plans here. Nothing to worry 'bout - everything's the same - except for one change. That bitch you saw in the mall, Simone. She wasn't here today, cause she split on me. (pause) Me an Louis went over to her place ,she's gone. She's gone and all her shit's gone and so's my ten thousand dollars. (pause) It ain't nothin' to worry about, girl. Everything's just like we discussed. Except when you do the switch, instead of Simone, it's gonna be Melanie. Melanie is lying on the couch, sprawled out like a cat. Louis sits at the other end of the couch. They're watching "Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry" on TV. ON TV Peter Fonda and Susan George make jokes as they're pursued by police cars. They can hear Ordell on the phone. Melanie smiling at Louis, flirtatiously and conspiratorially lifts her bare foot and rubs his arm with it. Louis turns to her and gives her a look that says: "I'm not on your side, bitch. So knock it of." Melanie sees this and takes her foot away. Louis turns back to the television. CLOSEUP MELANIE Looks at Louis for a moment, then sighs, saying under her breath; MELANIE Chicken shit. FADE TO BLACK TITLE CARD: "MONEY EXCHANGE 550,000" FADE UP: A GRAPHIC MAP With Mexico and California on it. On the Mexico side we see "CABO SAN LUCAS" with a big circle around it. On the California side we see "LAX" in a similar circle. The tiny figure of a black AIRPLANE appears in the Cabo circle. With appropriate SOUND EFFECTS it takes off from Cabo, flying towards LAX, leaving a dotted line behind it. The CAMERA moves into a CLOSEUP of the little black airplane. CUT TO: CLOSEUP JACKIE Looking down... INT. AIRPLANE BATHROOM - DAY Rearranging her bag. The five hundred thousand inside takes up half the space. She tucks lingerie around the edges, covers the money with blouses, shoes, and skirts and ties I all down tight. Then places a fat envelope with fifty thousand right on top. INT. CABIN - AIRPLANE - DAY Jackie steps out of the bathroom, walks down the aisle, and is stopped by a PASSENGER. PASSENGER Listen, Miss, I'm waiting for a drink and you spend half the fuckin' flight in the can. Soon as we land I'm making a formal complaint. JACKIE Why, because I called you an asshole. PASSENGER You didn't call me that. JACKIE I didn't? Oh, well, you're an asshole. INT. LAX PARKING STRUCTURE - DAY SUBTITLE APPEARS BELOW: "TIME: 3:00" Jackie steps into the LAX parking structure, pulling her bag on wheels behind her. Waiting for her is Ray Nicolet. NICOLET We have to stop meeting like this. They fall into step towards her car. JACKIE You said that the last time. NICOLET Well, it's true, isn't it? After his is buttoned up we could meet someplace else. What do you think? JACKIE We could, if I'm not in jail. NICOLET Oh, that's taken care of. I called the State Attorney's Office. You were no-filed this morning in Circuit Court. CLOSEUP JACKIE This information stops Jackie in her tracks. JACKIE Are you saying I'm off the hook? JACKIE'S POV Nicolet, who kept walking when Jackie stopped, looks back at Jackie. NICOLET Free as a bird. I still expect you to finish the job, though. How much do you have this time? Jackie starts walking again JACKIE Fifty thousand, like I said. He's pretty sure he's gonna need it for bail. INT. JACKIE'S HONDA - DAY Jackie and Nicolet in the parked car. Ray has the flight bag in his lap. He unzips it. He sees the clothes with the envelope on top. Jackie watches all of this. NICOLET That's fifty thousand, huh? It doesn't look like that much. JACKIE I was told ten thousand in each pack. NICOLET You didn't count it? JACKIE I never have. It's not my money. He puts the envelope back in the bag and feels through the folds of a skirt. NICOLET He might have slipped some coke in here. Did you check? Jackie, cool. JACKIE Mr. Walker promised he'd never do that again. Nicolet's fingers move to a pair of black heels wedged into the side... they touch the shoes... then move over to the envelope, opens the clasp and takes out five rubber-banded bond packets of loot. JACKIE (CONT'D) Ever been tempted? NICOLET What? To put one of these in my pocket? JACKIE Uh-huh. NICOLET If I did, I'd have to give you one, wouldn't I? Or we could take what we want. No one knows how much there is except us, right? JACKIE Yes. All those things are true. NICOLET After all, it don't belong to nobody, right? JACKIE That would be one point of view. NICOLET Yeah, well, it's not a point of view that A.T.F. shares. Once we make it evidence, it belongs to us. You are now officially out of trouble. Don't do nothing stupid, now. JACKIE How can I do anything if I'm being watched every second? NICOLET I'm glad you realize that. Saves me the trouble of pointing it out to you. (holding up the money) Put this in your shopping bag. It's what I expect to find when I look in Sheronda's. Comprende? JACKIE Si. INT. MAX CHERRY'S OFFICE - DAY Max Cherry sits behind his desk. WINSTON POWELL, the big black guy from the photo, is at the other desk on the phone. Max looks at his watch. SUBTITLE APPEARS BELOW: "TIME: 3:30" Max stands up, takes the sport coat from the back of his chair, putsit on, and walks over to Winston's desk. Winston, still on the phone, looks up. MAX I'm going out for a few hours. WINSTON (to phone) Hold on a minute. (to Max) Where you going? MAX I'm going to Del Amo, see a movie, get something to eat. WINSTON Watcha gonna see? MAX Whatever looks best and starts the soonest. WINSTON Have fun. Winston goes back to the phone. Max walks out of the office. EXT. SAM'S HOFFIN BRAUR - DAY Sam's Hoffin Braur (German for beer garden) is a strip joint bar in downtown L.A. INT SAM'S HOFFIN BRAUR - DAY Ordell's on the pay phone. A STRIPPER strips in the b.g. SUBTITLE APPEARS BELOW: "TIME: 3:47" ORDELL What the fuck are you two still doing there?! INT. MELANIE'S APARTMENT - DAY Louis stands in the empty living room, talking to Ordell on the phone. Kate Bush plays in the b.g. LOUIS I was ready to leave ten minutes ago. Ordell snaps at Louis, not so harsh Louis is forced to retaliate, but enough to express his loss of patience. ORDELL Well, you the one in motherfuckin' charge. LOUIS Well, she keeps saying 'in a minute.' ORDELL Go in there, snatch her by the hair, and drag her big ass out. This is my goddam money we're talking about. Get your ass out the door. He hangs up on Louis. Louis, pissed at being hung up on and talked to like that, hangs up the phone and turns his frustration where it rightly belongs - Melanie. Louis stomps towards the bedroom where the music's playing. LOUIS We're leaving now! MELANIE (O.S.) All right already. MONTAGE We see a montage of the individual characters in route to the mall. JACKIE In her Honda, smoking a cigarette, looking cool as usual, driving to the mall. Her car plays seventies soul. MAX In his Cadillac Seville, cruising down Hawthorne Boulevard to the mall. He plays hid Delfonics CD. LOUIS AND MELANIE In Melanie's Toyota drive towards the mall. Melanie drives singing along with Kate Bush on her car stereo. EXT. DEL AMO MALL PARKING LOT - DAY Jackie's car pulls up to a lined parking space in the parking lot. SUBTITLE APPEARS BELOW: "TIME 3:52" Jackie gets out of the Honda with her flight bag. She goes to her hatchback, takes a Robinson's/May bag, lines the first half of the bag with old paperbacks. Then takes out of the flight bag the envelope with the fifty-thousand marked dollars, takes one packet of ten thousand, and puts it in her pocket. She lines the envelope with forty thousand across the books, then fills the rest of the bag with beach towels. Then with her flight bag slung over her shoulder, carrying the Robinson's/May bag and with all the confidence of a world champion prize fighter going into the ring, she strides toward the hugs mall. INT. DEL AMO MALL - DAY Jackie enters the mall. She looks at the people buzzing around. Any one of them could be surveillance. She calmly walks down the mall, then turns into the Roinson's/May store. INT. ROBINSON'S/MAY - DESIGNER CLOTHES - DAY Jackie, in her Cabo Air uniform, walks up to a young Asian saleswoman named Amy in the Robinson's/May designer clothing area. The saleswoman smiles when she sees Jackie. AMY Can I help you? JACKIE Yes, you have a suit I've had my eye on. Jackie steps out of the fitting room wearing a real sharp, badass, black suit with a white blouse. AMY Oh, my God. You look so cool. Jackie moves over to the mirror, and checks herself out. JACKIE This looks pretty good on me. AMY Are you kidding, it looks great. You wear this to a business meeting, you're the badass in the room. But you can go out dancing in this too. It's a total power suit. Jackie studies her reflection. JACKIE I think I'm gonna just get this for today. I'm in kind of a hurry. Would you mind ringing this up while I change out of it? AMY Not a problem. JACKIE Thanks. Jackie walks into the fitting room. INT. FITTING ROOM - DAY She walks down the fitting room hallway with changing cubicles on her right, enters the last one. She closes the door and sits down on the bench in between her flight bag full of money and the Robinson's/May bag. A full-length mirror is straight I front of her. She looks at herself... when someone comes into the stall next to her. Melanie's voice comes from the other side of the wall. MEALNIE (O.S.) Jackie? JACKIE Hi, Melanie. MELANIE (O.S.) Are you getting that black suit? JACKIE Yeah, do you like it? MELANIE (O.S.) It looks good on you. JACKIE Do you got something for me? MELANIE (O.S.) You betcha. A Robinson's/May bag, like Jackie's, filled with towels, comes sliding underneath the stall. Jackie picks up her Robinson's/May bag, filled with books, towels and the marked forty-thousand dollars. She takes the loose packet of ten-thousand marked dollars and lies it on top of the bag. As she does all this Melanie continues talking. MELANIE (O.S.) (CONT'D) We coulda worked this. You know that, dontcha? You would've made out a lot better than you're going to, believe me. Jackie slides the Robinson's/May bag with money under the stall. Melanie sees the money on top and stops talking. JACKIE I put a little cherry on top. You're right. What the hell he ever do for us? MELANIE (O.S.) (quietly) Thanks. JACKIE Now be careful with that bag. You don't want it ripping open on you in the middle of the store. We hear the SOUND of Melanie leaving. Jackie then transfers the half of a million dollars out of her flight bag into Melanie's Robinson's/May bag. She sticks her uniform in the flight bag. Then takes the towels and puts them on top of the money. She grabs her flight bag and leaves, leaving behind the Robinson's/May bag filled with half of a million dollars. INT. DESIGNER CLOTHES - DAY Jackie, looking sharp in her new suit but acting a touch frantic and anxious, walks rapidly toward the sales counter where Amy waits for her. JACKIE I'm sorry, I just decided to stay in the suit - get out of that damn uniform. AMY Oh, that's not a problem. As Jackie and the salesgirl complete their transaction the CAMERA CIRCLES them, SLOWLY at first, but more RAPIDLY each go-around. They complete the transaction and as Jackie starts to leave, she stops and says to Amy; JACKIE Oh, somebody left a shopping bag in there. Looks like beach towels. She leaves. We follow her... INT. DEL AMO MALL - DAY ... Jackie walks out of Robinson's/May hurriedly into the main mall. The calm, cool stride we're used to with Jackie is completely gone. She stops, looks around, head darting from one direction to another. She looks in a panic. The CAMERA begins to twirl around her. She seems to be looking for something she doesn't see. She looks helpless and on the verge of tears. As the twirling CAMERA circles her, she screams; JACKIE Ray! Ray! I need you! Come out! She took the money. The CAMERA stops twirling. Nicolet, Dargus, and two other plainclothes cops, come running out of a store towards Jackie. As they reach her, a frantic Jackie yells; JACKIE (CONT'D) Melanie burst in the dressing room and took the money! CUT TO: EXT. PARKING LOT - DEL AMO MALL - DAY Louis and Melanie pull up to a lined parking space in Melanie's Toyota. SUBTITLE APPEARS BELOW: "TIME: 4:12" Louis is the first out of the car. LOUIS Come on, goddammit, we're late! INT. DEL AMO MALL - DAY We STEDICAM in front of them, Louis the rapid pacesetter, pulling Melanie behind him by the hand. Melanie carries the Robinson's/May switch bag. MELANIE Jesus Christ, get a grip, Louis. LOUIS We shoulda been there already and we woulda been if it hadn't been for your fuckin' around! They go inside Robinson's/May... INT. ROBINSON'S/MAY - DAY ... We STEDICAM into Robison's/May with them. We lose them for a moment behind racks of dresses and mannequins, but end up landing on Jackie in her black suit, looking in a mirror and talking to Amy on the Designer Clothes floor. AM ... You wear this to a business meeting, you're the badass in the room... We PAN away and find Louis and Melanie by a dress rack, watching Jackie. MELANIE That's a nice outfit on her. I'm gonna go over and look at this Michi Moon display. LOUIS Just stay right fuckin' here, all right? MELANIE Are you sweating? Louis' hand immediately goes to his forehead and touches dampness. MELANIE (CONT'D) Job a little too much for you? Louis shoots Melanie a hard convict look. Melanie smiles at him, feeling the stare, but too much of a natural-born smart ass to change. MELANIE I'll be over here. You're too conspicuous. Louis looks over at the fitting room. Jackie is going inside it, and the saleswoman is walking away towards him. He watches the saleswoman walk by him, then looks back in time to see Melanie enter the fitting room. LOUIS (under his breath) Goddammit, not till I tell ya. He decides he's watching the fitting room entrance too much, so he starts throwing his look around when he sees something that stops him cold. MAX CHERRY Max is looking at dresses, paying no attention to the fitting room. He thinks, 'what the fuck is Max Cherry doing here?' Max, doing what he's doing, looks up and sees Louis staring at him across the floor. Max smiles and gives Louis a wave before turning his back to him and continues to do what he was doing. He quickly looks around the store to see anything else; any more surprise guests, possible police surveillance. Everything looks normal. The saleswoman is behind the register ringing up Jackie's purchase. The few customers there are doing customer stuff. Then he sees Melanie come out with a Robinson's/May bag and head down a different aisle. He hurries down his aisle and cuts her off. Their whole fight is said tense and low. LOUIS What are you doin'? MELANIE I'm getting out of here. What do you think? LOUIS Lemme have the bag. MELANIE Fuck you. I can carry it. She tries to push past him, and he catches her by her arm and pulls her around. LOUIS Goddam you. Gimme that bag, MELANIE Watch it, dipshit. You wanna rip the fuckin' bag? LOUIS Gimme that bag before I knock you out and take it. Melanie realizes Louis ain't fuckin' kiddin'. Not only that, this old guy looks close to buggin'. She lets go of the bag. MELANIE Okay, okay. Take it. Jesus, what's wrong with you? He takes it. They start walking. We STEDICAM in front of them. LOUIS I'm carrying it. MELANIE Okay, you got it. Just take a chill pill, for christ sake. Louis has had enough of her slang and says tensely through gritted teeth; LOUIS Fuck you with your chill pill. In mid-walk, Melanie asks him; MELANIE Remember where we came in? Louis stops dead. He looks around, confused. MELANIE (CONT'D) (like a teacher on Romper Room) Nooo, that's towards Sears. We came in through Bullocks. I know where it is. Want to follow me, Lou-is? Pissed, he leaves FRAME. Melanie, wearing her Melanie smirk, follows behind. EXT. PARKING LOT - DEL AMO MALL - DAY Louis, clutching the shopping bag close to his chest, walks rapidly down an aisle of parked cars. Melanie follows close behind. We STEDICAM alongside. We walk for awhile, Louis changes direction to another aisle. WE'RE NOW IN FRONT of him. We see he has a searching look on his face. MELANIE You have no idea where you parked, do you? Louis doesn't answer. Melanie laughs. MELANIE (CONT'D) Jesus, but if you two aren't the biggest fuck-ups I've ever seen in my life... How did you ever rob a bank? When you robbed banks, did you have to look for your car then too? No wonder you went to jail. Louis could kill her right now. Just take his gun out of his pants and shoot her in her snickering face. But instead of doing what he wants, he does what he should. He doesn't answer of look back. (If he looked back and saw that Melanie-smirk, he couldn't e responsible for what happens.)He changes directions, cuts down another aisle and hopes for both their sakes she shuts the fuck up. But our Melanie just keeps on being Melanie. MELANIE (CONT'D) Is it this aisle, Lou-is? LOUIS Yeah, down the end. MELANIE You sure? They walk it; it's not it. Louis changes direction and cuts between some cars to the next one. MELANIE (CONT'D) Is it this aisle or the next one over? LOUIS This one. MELANIE You sure? In between two cars, Louis spins on her. LOUIS Don't say anything else, okay? I'm telling you, keep your mouth shut. Melanie was surprised by the spin, but is about to say something anyway when Louis put his hand up and says; LOUIS I mean it. Don't say one fuckin' word. MELANIE Okay, Lou-is. That did it! Louis whips out the Beretta Ordell gave him, shoots her... BAM... in the belly. She bounces OFF one of the cars and goes down. BAM... Louis shoots her again on the ground. One; to make sure. Two; cause it felt good. Then he hurries of for his car. WE FOLLOW IN FRONT OF HIM. He looks around, then yells out; LOUIS See, just where I fuckin' said it was! He hops in the car, and throws it into reverse. We can se Melanie's bare legs sticking out from a row of cars. Louis stops the Toyota alongside the dead Melanie, and yells through the passenger window; LOUIS Hey, look. I found it! He drives away. CUT TO: EXT. PARKING LOT - DEL AMO MALL - DAY Max Cherry's Cadillac Seville pulls up to a lined space in the parking lot. SUBTITLE APPEARS BELOW: "TIME: 4:04" Max gets out of his car and casually strolls towards the Del Amo Mall. INT. ROBINSON'S/MAY - DAY Max, hands in pocket, strolls unhurriedly through the Robinson's/May store. He walks around the store, keeping one eye peeled toward the Designer Clothes section. He walks up to a jewelry counter and begins looking at he pieces in the display case, when a pretty, young SALESGIRL comes up to him. SALESGIRL Can I show you something? MAX Not right now. I'm just killing time waiting for my wife. But thanks, anyway. SALESGIRL Sure thing. If anything grabs you, don't be shy. MAX Thanks, I won't. She goes off. He looks towards Designer Clothes and sees Jackie walking out of the fitting room wearing the cool black suit. AMY Oh, my God. You look so cool. Jackie moves over to the mirror and checks herself out. Max looks back to the jewelry display case, saying under his breath; MAX (CONT'D) (low) And away we go. Jackie looks at her reflection in the mirror. Then she lifts her eyes, meeting Max's across the room. Max gives her a nod of his head to show he approves. Jackie smiles and breaks contact, turning to Amy. We hear her say from a distance. "This looks pretty good on me." Max hears a commotion behind him and turns to see Louis and Melanie hurriedly making their way towards Designer Clothes. He turns his attention back to browsing through dresses on a rack. He sees Louis and Melanie squabbling. He sees Jackie disappear into the fitting room. He sees Amy leaving the fitting room entrance. He watches Melanie, by herself, watch Amy leave. Melanie watches the fitting room for a few moments. Gathering her courage, then makes her move, entering the fitting room. Max smiles to himself, "so far so good" he thinks. He throws a look towards Louis, only to see Louis staring dead at him with an unhappy look on his face. Max returns the look with a smile and a wave then turns his back on his before he can see a reaction. Max continues his fake browsing. He sees Melanie come out of the fitting room carrying a Robinson's/May bag close to her chest. She and Louis disappear. He sees Jackie come out of the fitting room, go over to Amy and buy the dress. Jackie goes into her act, acting agitated and distracted as she talks to Amy, pays with cash, then leaves stopping to say; JACKIE Oh, somebody left a shopping bag in there. Looks like beach towels. She's gone. Amy is left alone by the cashier counter. It's Max's turn. As Max looks at Amy, then at the fitting room entrance, he says to himself; MAX Max, old boy. You've spent nineteen years dealing with people who take incredible risks. You walk over to that counter, you're gonna find out what it's like. Max takes a few moments... ... then walks over to Amy. MAX Excuse me, but my wife thinks she left a bag of beach towels in the fitting room? AMY Yeah, I think they're back there. Go get 'em. There's nobody in there. I think they're in the last stall. MAX Thanks. Max walks toward the fitting room, enters it, walks down the length of stalls, and stops in front of the last one. He opens the door to the stall. Sitting in the corner is the Robinson's/May bag. He walks over to it, lifts out the towels, and sees all that money. He replaces the towels, picks up the bag and leaves. HE walks across the Designer Clothes, passes by Amy, says; MAX Got 'em, thanks. AMY Sure thing. Max walks unhurriedly toward the door that leads to the parking lot. EXT. PARKING LOT - DEL AMO MALL - DAY He's outside; nobody's stopped him. He keeps walking towards his blue Seville. He keeps walking unhurriedly, never looking back. He gets to his car, uses opening the car door as an excuse to look back at the mall. It's normal. Nobody's after him, nobody's watching him. He made it. It worked. Max allows himself a smile, gets into his Cadillac with his half-a-million bucks and drives away. INT. SAM'S HOFFIN BRAUS - DAY Ordell sits at the bar in Sam's drinking a screwdriver and watching a stripper strip. BARTENDER There a Ordell here? ORDELL That's me. The bartender hands him the phone. BARTENDER Don't talks all day. Ordell takes the receiver. INT. TOYOTA (MOVING) - DAY A stressed Louis drives the Toyota, calling Ordell on Ordell's tiny cellular. LOUIS It's Louis. ORDELL (now into phone) Did you get it? LOUIS I got it. Listen, there's something else I have to tell you. ORDELL When I see you. Pick me up at Sam's. You count the money? LOUIS I haven't even looked at it yet, it's still in the shopping bag. ORDELL Melanie must be dyin' to see it. (pause) Louis. LOUIS That's what I got to talk to you about. You see, Melanie was giving me a hard time - ORDELL - Not now, pick me up. Louis hears the phone disconnect. EXT. SAM'S HOFFIN BRAUR - DAY The Toyota pulls up to the back of the bar. Ordell hops in, the car takes off. INT. TOYOTA (MOVING) - DAY Oredell in the passenger seat, bends over to the backseat, grabs the shopping bag, and brings it to his lap. He looks like a kid at Christmas. ORDELL You keep drivin' down Ninth, to where they got all them car dealerships. We're gonna leave this heap in a parking lot and get one the cops don't know about. (pause) Hey, where's Melanie? LOUIS That's what I gotta tell you. She bugged me the whole time. Got pissy with me 'cause I wouldn't let her carry the bag. Started running her fuckin' mouth... I couldn't remember right away when we came out where the car was parked, so she got on me about that. "Is it this aisle Lou-is, is it that one?" She was totally fuckin' with my nerves. ORDELL So what, you left her there. LOUIS I shot her. Ordell just looks at him. LOUIS (CONT'D) I expect she's dead. Ordell still doesn't say anything... then says; ORDELL You shot Melanie? LOUIS Twice. In the parking lot. ORDELL Couldn't talk to her? LOUIS You know how she is. ORDELL You couldn't just hit her? LOUIS Maybe... but at that moment... I dunno... ORDELL You shot her twice? LOUIS Uh-huh. ORDELL So you're sure she's dead. LOUIS Pretty sure. ORDELL Where did you shoot her? LOUIS In the chest and stomach. ORDELL Well, if you had to do it, you had to do it. What we don't want is that bitch surviving on us. Anybody but that woman. Ordell shrugs it off, and digs into the shopping bag. He pulls out the towels and sees forty-thousand dollars on top of a bunch of paperbacks. His stomach drops. He just looks inside the bag for the longest time. Louis drives, oblivious to Ordell's dilemma. ORDELL (CONT'D) (quiet) Louis? LOUIS (not looking at him) What? ORDELL Where's the rest of it? LOUIS (looking at him) How much it there? ORDELL Maybe forty, maybe not that much. LOUIS You said five hundred and fifty! ORDELL (calm) So you light, ain't you. You light about a half-a-million. LOUIS Look, that's the bag she came out with. She never even put her hand in it, and neither did I. ORDELL Came outta where? LOUIS The fitting room. It went down exactly the way it was supposed to. ORDELL How long was she in there? LOUIS Maybe a minute. She came right out. ORDELL Louis, You tellin' me the truth? LOUIS Look, I swear to fucking god, she came out with that bag and I took it from her. ORDELL Then what? LOUIS We went to the parking lot. ORDELL Where you shot her. LOUIS That's right. ORDELL You sure she ain't somewhere with a half-a-million dollars I worked my ass off to earn? Louis looks at Ordell; LOUIS (quietly) Fuck you for asking me that. ORDELL Pull the car over. Louis pulls it over, and stops on Ninth. ORDELL (CONT'D) What'd you shoot her with? LOUIS It's in there. Ordell opens the glove box and takes out the Beretta. He smells the end of the barrel. He releases the magazine. LOUIS (CONT'D) What's that gonna tell you" If I was really pullin' a burn, I'd have taken two out, wouldn't I? I thought you trusted me. Ordell looks at him. Louis didn't burn him. CLOSEUP ORDELL He thinks. DISSOLVE TO: CLOSEUP JACKIE Holding a bunch of money, looking into the camera, and saying with a smile; JACKIE Gotcha, nigga. DISSOLVE BACK TO: CLOSEUP ORDELL Jackie's gonna die. He slaps the magazine back into the Beretta. ORDELL Okay, so it was Jackie Brown. LOUIS If she's got it, why didn't she take it all? ORDELL 'fore I blow that bitch's brains out, I'll ask her. LOUIS Maybe the Feds got it. ORDELL If there were nothin; in here but towels, maybe she didn't get a chance to take it from her suitcase and A.T.F. got it. But, she put these fuckin' books in here to trick our ass. LOUIS That's why I never checked it. The bag felt right. ORDELL Then she throws forty thousand in here, to rub the shit in my face, know what I'm saying? She wants me to know she ripped me off. LOUIS I don't know. Either she has it or the Feds. ORDELL Or... (pause) ... she gave it to somebody else first, before Melanie went in the dressing room. It gets real quiet in the car, as Louis remembers something. LOUIS Jesus Christ. ORDELL What? LOUIS You know who I saw in the dress department? ORDELL Tell me. LOUIS I didn't really think anything of it. No - I did wonder what he was doing there, but didn't think it had anything to do with us. You know like maybe he was there with his wife or girlfriend. ORDELL You gonna tell me who it was? LOUIS Max Cherry. Ordell has to look away from Louis, takes a beat, then looks back. ORDELL You see Max Cherry in the dress department. We're about to be handed half-a-million dollars - Man, look at me when I'm talking to you! And you don't think nothing of him being there! LOUIS Do Max Cherry and Jackie Brown know each other? ORDELL Hell, yes, they know each other. He bonded her out of county. LOUIS How am I supposed to know that? ORDELL You know the motherfucker's a bail bondsman, don't ya? You know every last one of them motherfuckers is crooked as hell? LOUIS Why should I think anything's weird, if I don't know nothin' about them knowing each other? ORDELL Man, I don't want to hear your fuckin' excuses! Louis gets mad. LOUIS I ain't givin' you fuckin' excuses, I'm givin' you reasons. ORDELL Oh, you gonna tell me the reason you lost all the goddam money I got in the world! Let me tell you the reason, motherfucker! The reason is, your ass ain't worth a shit no more! Louis turns into the hard convict on the yard, and tells Ordell; LOUIS (hard) You best back off. We hear a BAM. Louis jerks. Ordell shot him. Louis falls back against the car door, eyes wide open, staring at Ordell. Ordell takes the pistol, works the barrel up higher on Louis' side, right under him arm, and shoots him again. This time Louis' head BANGS against the car door window. He slumps over - his life gone. Ordell looks at him. ORDELL What the fuck happened to you, man? Shit, your ass use'ta be beautiful. Ordell takes the bag and gets out of the car, leaving Louis' dead body there. DISSOLVE TO: MEDIUM NICOLET NICOLET You didn't tell me you were gonna do some shopping. INT. NICOLET'S OFFICE (A.T.F. HEADQUARTERS) - DAY Jackie, still dressed in her cool black suit, sits in a chair in Nicolet's office. Davidoff between the fingers of one hand, she holds a small, white styrofoam cup of coffee in he other. Ray stands. JACKIE I thought I did. NICOLET You didn't. I would think with all this on your mind, you'd wait till after. JACKIE I got there early. I've had my eye on this suit - Wait, let's start over. I got there early. The idea was to try on the suit, see if I liked it. If I did, get them to wrap it up, and change back into my uniform. That's what Sheronda's expecting me to wear. Go meet Sheronda, give her the bag with fifty thousand, and go home. NICOLET But you didn't do that. JACKIE Because I didn't have it. Ray, I swear, Melanie came in and grabbed it. (pause) And someone killed her for it. Nicolet looks at Jackie for a moment. NICOLET Where's the bag she gave you? JACKIE She didn't give me one. I told you before, Melanie wasn't part of the plan. Ordell must of told her to do it. She bursts in, grabs the shopping bag, and takes off. What am I supposed to do, go after her? I'm in my fucking underwear. I had to get dressed before I could do anything. So I put this back on 'cause could put this on faster than I could my uniform. NICOLET You took the time to pay the saleswoman. JACKIE I had to. I was frantic. I didn't know what to do. NICOLET What did you do after that? JACKIE I went looking for you. I went straight to the bookstore, 'cause that's where you were last time, but you weren't there. How the hell else am I supposed to let anybody know what happened? You didn't tell me how to do that, did you? I knew I was under surveillance, so when I couldn't spot anybody, I started yelling. NICOLET There was a guy with Melanie? JACKIE Not in the fitting room. CUT TO: A YOUNG WOMAN A.T.F SURVEILLANCE AGENT Pretends to shop. She watches Louis grab Melanie. NICOLET (V.O.) We had our agent on you. She sees a blonde come out of the fitting room carrying a Robinson's/May bag and tussle with a tough-looking white guy. The white guy takes the shopping bag and they go. BACK TO OFFICE NICOLET This guy with Melanie, that was Louis Gara? JACKIE I didn't see him. I was in my underwear. If it was a white guy, it was probably Louis. He kill Melanie? NICOLET It's possible. You're saying you don't have any idea what happened to that fifty thousand? JACKIE I have no idea. NICOLET You'd take a polygraph on it? JACKIE If it'll make you happy. NICOLET I sure hope you haven't done anything dumb Jackie. Dargus comes to the doorway... DARGUS (to Nicolet) Can I have a word with you? NICOLET Sure. They both leave, leaving Jackie all by herself in the room, smoking. They both come back in. Nicolet continues, Dargus takes a seat in the corner saying nothing. NICOLET (CONT'D) Louis Gara's dead. L.A.P.D. found him dead in a car on Ninth. And we've lost Ordell. JACKIE I thought you were watching him. NICOLET We were, and we lost him. He walked into a strip bar sometime around three thirty and never came out. The bar was on Ninth, less than a mile- and-a-half from where Louis was found dead. It looks like Louis's friend shot him twice at point blank range. JACKIE So what happens now? NICOLET We pick up Ordell. We've got three murders we can link him to. We have the storage unit where he keeps his guns, by tomorrow we'll have a search warrant to go in and get him. And we have you. JACKIE What about me? NICOLET What about you? JACKIE Do you think I took some of that money? NICOLET I have no evidence of your taking anything. You didn't pay for your snazzy new suit with marked bills; I was glad to see that. You've been helping us out, you gave us Melanie and Louis. Melanie had a packet of marked bills stuffed in her shorts when they found her, which goes a long way backing up your story. Jackie listens. NICOLET (CONT'D) I'll settle for Ordell with the marked bills. NICOLET If you have something else going on you haven't told me about, it's between you and Ordell. All I gotta say is, you better hope we find him before he finds you. DISSOLVE TO: CLOSEUP ORDELL On the phone. ORDEL ... I can't leave here today... Mr. Walker, I ain't goin' nowhere till I get my money... You wouldn't have that fuckin' boat weren't for me. Man, I'm learnin' real fast who my friends are... Mr. Walker? INT. FILTHY APARTMENT - DAY Ordell turn to a glassy-eyed black female junkie nodding on the couch named RAYNELLE. The filthy apartment we're in belongs to her. ORDELL Can you believe that shit? Motherfucker hung up on me. Ingrate nigger. Do things for people and that's how they treat you. Goddamn girl, how can you live like this? He dials another number. RAYNELLE (stoned) Like what? ORDELL Girl, this shit is repugnant. WINSTON (O.S.) (on other end of phone) Cherry Bail Bonds. ORDELL Let me speak to Max Cherry. INT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS - DAY Winston behind his desk, on the phone. WINSTON He ain't here right now. ORDELL He leave town? WINSTON He's around. ORDELL Give me his home number. WINSTON I'll give you his beeper. CUT TO: A YOUNG BLACK COMEDIAN ON TV Def Comedy Jam plays on TV, a black comedian does a nasty stand-up routine. INT. FILTHY APARTMENT - NIGHT Ordell and Raynelle sit on the couch watching Def Comedy Jam; neither one is laughing. Raynelle's too stoned. Ordell's too tense. The phone rings, he jumps on it ORDELL Hello. INT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS - NIGHT Max on the other end behind his desk. Winston sitting on the edge of the desk listening. MAX I've been looking for you. Ordell's up and off the couch pacing. ORDELL You know who this is? MAX Mister Robbie, isn't it? I have the ten thousand you put up. Isn't that why you called. Ordell doesn't say anything. MAX (CONT'D) The bond collateral on Beaumont Livingston you moved over to cover Miss Brown, remember? ORDELL She got off, huh? MAX They decided to no-file. Tell me where you are and I'll bring you your money. Ordell doesn't say anything. MAX (CONT'D) You still there? ORDELL Looky here, I know you helped her and I know you know what I want Jackie can tell me any story come in that pretty head of hers. Long as at the end of that story, she hands over my money. She do that, we're still friends. Now, she don't wanna be my friend no more, tell her to think about ol' Louis. And if she tries to turn me in, I'll name her ass as my accessory. We'll go upstate together. Hand in handcuffed hand. Now that shit's a promise, understand what I'm sayin'? You tell her that, and I'll call you back. Ordell hangs up. Back in control. He looks to the TV. One of the COMEDIANS cracks a joke. Ordell laughs. Max looks at Winston. MAX You're right, that was Ordell. You have time, you think you could find out for me where he's staying? WINSTON Cops can't locate him, huh? MAX They don't have your winning personality. WINSTON Sure thing. I don't have to know what I'm doing, long as you know. MAX I think I do. Is that good enough? EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT A low-rent motel. We hear a phone ring inside one of the rooms. INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Jackie lies on a hotel bed, wearing a long t-shirt and panties, watching TV that's chained to the wall. She answers the phone. JACKIE Hello. INT. MAX'S OFFICE - NIGHT Max on the phone in his office, alone. MAX I know where he is. This gets her attention. She picks up the remote to the TV set and zaps the sound. JACKIE How'd you find out? MAX All Winston had to do was ask around. Ordell's living in Long Beach with a woman junkie. JACKIE How does Winston find him if A.T.F. and all the local Police can't? MAX People talk to Winston. He's street, same as them, they trust him. They get busted, they know somebody who can bond them out. I thought I might drop in on him. He'll no doubt be surprised to see me. JACKIE He's liable to shoot you. MAX On the phone I told him I have the ten thousand he put up for your bond. I could bring the money and the papers for him to sign. Walk out and call the Sheriff's department. Jackie gets off the bed. JACKIE Ray wants him. MAX Everybody wants him, he's a homicide suspect. It doesn't matter who brings him in, he's gonna name you as an accessory. Jackie lights up a Davidoff. JACKIE That's why A.T.F.'s gotta make the case. I'm their witness. They wouldn't have a case without me. If it's his word against mine, who are they gonna believe? MAX It's not that simple. Phone in one hand, smoke in the other, Jackie begins pacing back and forth. JACKIE It never was, so I'm not gonna start worrying about it now. Look, Ray more or less believes my story, and he more or less doesn't care. All he really gives a shit about is getting Ordell. MAX So how do we give Ordell to Nicolet? JACKIE Get Ordell to come to your office. MAX Set him up. JACKIE Uh-huh. MAX Tell him you want to see him? JACKIE Tell him I want to give him his money. MAX Why? JACKIE I've chickened out. I'm afraid of him. He'll like that. MAX What do you tell Nicolet? JACKIE Ordell called and wants to meet me and I'm scared. MAX We get Ordell to come to my office. Nicolet - is he already there, or does he come busting in while we're chatting? Jackie takes a drag. JACKIE He's already there. MAX What if he hears something he's not supposed to? JACKIE Well, we don't let that happen, now do we? EXT. FILTHY APARTMENT - NIGHT Max at the front door or Raynelle's apartment. He pounds on the door. Ordell throws open the door. ORDELL What the fuck you doin' knockin on the door like the goddamn police? You lookin' to get shot? MAX I thought you might be asleep. ORDELL You keep fuckin' with me, you're gonna be asleep forever. He looks past Max. MAX I'm alone. ORDELL Git your ass in here. Max enters, Ordell slams the door. As Ordell turns away from the door, Maxis reaching into his coat. Ordell brings his Beretta up at Max. ORDELL You better freeze, motherfucker! Max freezes, his hand in his coat pocket. MAX You want your money? Your bond refund? He takes his hand out, it's holding stack of bills wrapped in a rubber band. He tosses it to Ordell, who catches it with his free hand. ORDELL That's all? MAX I have a bond receipt for you to sign. ORDELL You know what the fuck I'm talkin' about. You talk to her? MAX She wants to give you your money. If she didn't, there'd be cops batter- ramming the door right now. ORDELL How'd you find me? MAX Winston found you. ORDELL How the fuck did he find me? MAX That's what Winston does. He finds people who don't want to be found. ORDELL Well, bully for that nigga. You say she wants to give me the money, huh? MAX Uh-huh. ORDELL Well, give it to me then. MAX She wants to give it to you herself and collect her ten percent. She also wants to explain why she had to hold on to it. ORDELL I'd like to hear that too. Turn around and put your hands on your head. Max does this, Ordell pats him down. MAX Jackie didn't trust Melanie. She'd already tried to get Jackie to go in with her, split the half million amongst themselves. What she did was take quite a risk to see you get your money. ORDELL Lift up your pant leg. You help her? MAX All I did was walk out with it. ORDELL And you did that to protect my interest? MAX In a way, yes. ORDELL My ass be dumb, but I'm not a dumbass. Go sit over there on the couch. Max does. MAX This place stinks. ORDELL You get used to it after a while. Now tell me where my money's at. MAX My office. ORDELL And where's Jackie? MAX She's been there since Thursday night. ORDELL She wanted to see me, why wasn't she home? MAX She was afraid. ORDELL (laughs) That I gotta see. MAX She still is. She doesn't want to get shot before she can tell you what happened. ORDELL Have her bring the money here. MAX It's in the safe. She can't get at it. ORDELL Call her, tell her the combination. MAX I'm telling you, you got her spooked. She won't leave there till you have your money and you're gone. ORDELL You expect me to just walk in there? MAX If she wanted to set you up, you'd be in custody right now. When you said you'd name her as an accessory she believed you. That scares her more than anything. ORDELL That's why she's givin' up my money huh? Not that bullshit about Melanie. I didn't trust her ass neither, but I knew how to handle her. She was my blonde-headed little surfer gal. I fuckin' told Louis he could've just given her a punch in the mouth, he didn't need to shoot her. She's at your office. MAX Uh-huh. ORDELL By herself. That big mandingo nigga Winston ain't there, is he? MAX She's all alone. ORDELL I call your office, she better answer the phone. MAX She will. INT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS - NIGHT Jackie on the phone with Ordell, sitting behind Max's desk. JACKIE I'll be here. Se ya' in a bit. She hangs up the phone. Then starts dialing again... INT. RAY NICOLET'S APARTMENT - NIGHT A STEDICAM glides through the apartment, it falls on a beeper "beeping", a gun, a wallet and car keys on a dresser drawer... it leaves that and lands on a TV screen: Tom Snyder is interviewing a guest on his show ... it leaves that and falls on two empty and one quarter- filled beer bottles... it leaves that and falls on a sleeping Ray Nicolet passed out in his reclining chair. The sound of Tom Snyder and the faint beeping are heard offscreen. EXT. FILTHY APARTMENT - NIGHT They leave the apartment walking to Max's car. ORDELL All the time I've known her, I never heard her sound scared like that. Ordinarily she's too cool for school. I'm driving, gimme the keys. Max hands him the keys. They climb in. INT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS - NIGHT Jackie sitting behind the desk. She opens the drawer to her right, Max's .38 sits there. She closes the drawer. INT. CADILLAC (MOVING) - NIGHT Ordell behind the wheel, Max the passenger. Ordell plays the radio, he likes the song and turns it up. BACK TO JACKIE Sitting alone in the office, she gets up and turns off the lights. The office goes dark. No music. BACK TO ORDELL AND MAX The song plays LOUD. Ordell moves his head to the music slightly. Mak sits silently in the passenger seat, sneaking a look at Ordell every once in a while. BACK TO JACKIE Sitting behind Max's desk in the dark. She takes out her Davidoffs and lights one up with her Bic. Her face is illuminated for a moment - then it's out. She exhales a drag. No music. BACK TO ORDELL CLOSEUP ORDELL His face is ice, the music is LOUD. BACK TO JACKIE CLOSEUP JACKIE She's cool as a breeze, smoking her brand. No music. BACK TO ORDELL AND MAX Music is LOUD. Ordell's driving. Max says; MAX It's the next street. ORDELL I know where it is. MAX Turn left. ORDELL I know where to turn. BACK TO JACKIE Sitting behind Max's desk. Headlights shine in the window. She is lit by them. She puts out her Davidoff and sits back in the chair. The light source cuts off. BACK TO ORDELL AND MAX Sitting in the parked Cadillac. Ordell has just turned off the lights and turns to Max, Beretta in hand. ORDELL My money's in that office, right? MAX Uh-huh. ORDELL She starts givin' me some bullshit about it ain't there. It's somewhere else and we can go get it. (he holds up his Beretta) I'm shootin' you in the head right then and there. Then I'm gonna shoot her in the kneecap, find out where my godamn money is. I go walkin' in there and that nigga Winston or anybody else is in there, you're the first man shot, understand what I'm sayin'? MAX Yeah. ORDELL Now, is there anything you want to tell me before we get out of this car? MAX No. ORDELL You sure? MAX Yes. ORDELL You better be, motherfucker. EXT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS - NIGHT They both get out of the Cadillac. Ordell sticks his gun in his pants. ORDELL Get ahead of me and open the door. Max steps in front of him, puts his keys in the lock and opens the door. ORDELL (CONT'D) Step inside easy. Max does. Max sees; Jackie sitting at his desk in the dark. Ordell sees this, too and moves past Max. ORDELL (CONT'D) Hey, girl, what the hell you sitting in the goddamn dark for? Max sees; Ordell moves past him... then he sees the bathroom door on the left side of the desk open, throwing light into the room, onto Jackie and the figure who steps out of the bathroom... Mark Dargus. Max sees; Ordell looks to Dargus, then back to Jackie. Then Jackie says; JACKIE Mark... (raising her voice) ... he's got a gun! Max sees; Ordell almost jumps, his arm goes to the Beretta in his pants... ... just as Dargus raises his gun and SHOOTS him three times in the chest... ... Ordell drops o the ground like a sack of potatoes, he lands at Max's feet. Max looks down and sees Ordell's head by his shoes, look of panic still on his face, dead as fried chicken. Max sees Dargus come over, bending on one nee next to Ordell's body. Max looks over at Jackie, still behind the desk. She looks eyes with Max for a moment, then stands and walks over to the body. Then Max sees ONE SHERIFF DEPUTY step out of the dark holding a shogun ... then another... then Winston step out of the bathroom. DARGUS He's dead. Dargus looks up at Max; DARGUS (CONT'D) Does he have the marked bills on him? Max still shaken; MAX In his inside coat pocket. Dargus reaches in and pulls out the envelope containing the forty-thousand marked dollars. Max looks at Jackie. She looks down at the dead Ordell with no expression, just light up another Davidoff. Dargus looks up at Max; DARGUS Why were you with him? MAX I went to give him his refund, so he wouldn't have to come here. DARGUS How'd you know where he was? MAX I found out. DARGUS And you didn't tell the Police? MAX I told Jackie, and Jackie said you wanted him. Dargus looks down at he man he just killed. JACKIE Remember when Ray said you hoped you'd get him before he got me? Dargus looks up and nods his head. JACKIE (CONT'D) Well, you did. Thank you. She takes a drag on her Davidoff. FADE TO BLACK INT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS - DAY As opposed to the last scene late at night, it's early morning. Max sits at his desk, filling out a report. A SUB-TITLE APPEARS BELOW: "TEN DAYS LATER" Max hears someone go; JACKIE (O.S.) Knock knock. Max looks up and sees Jackie Brown, standing in the doorway. She smiles at him. JACKIE (CONT'D) Hey. MAX FLASHES ON Jackie behind the desk. JACKIE (CONT'D) Mark... he's got a gun! Dargus shoots Ordell, Ordell drops. BACK TO OFFICE Max smiles back. MAX Hey, you. Jackie walks toward him. JACKIE I got your package. It was fun getting a half-a-million dollars in the mail. MAX Less ten percent. JACKIE Yeah, your fee. I had to figure that out, since there wasn't no note. She sits in the chair in front of his desk. JACKIE (CONT'D) Only this isn't a bail bond, Max. MAX I hesitated taking that much. JACKIE You worked for it - if you're sure that's all you want. MAX I'm sure. Pause between them. JACKIE I'm leaving, I have my things in my car. Why don't you walk out with me? I want to show you something. Max hesitates. JACKIE (CONT'D) Come on, Max. I won't hurt you. He smiles and gets up from the desk. As she stands, Jackie says; JACKIE (CONT'D) I saw Ray the other day. Boy is he pissed he missed all the excitement. MAX What's he doing? JACKIE He's on to a new thing. He's after a guy who owns a gun shop he says is "woefully and wantonly" selling assault rifles to minors. He says he's gonna take him down if it's the last thing he does. MAX Did you tell him you were leaving? JACKIE I told him I might. EXT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS - DAY They walk outside and Max sees Ordell's black Mercedes convertible. MAX That's Ordell's. JACKIE They've confiscated all his other stuff. But this one's sorta left over. The registration's in the glove box, the keys were under the seat... What's a matter" haven't you ever borrowed someone's car? MAX Not after they're dead. She walks around to the other side of the car, and looks at him across the black Mercedes. JACKIE I didn't use you, Max. MAX I didn't say you did. JACKIE I never lied to you. MAX I know. JACKIE We're partners. MAX I'm fifty-five-years old. I can't blame anybody for anything I do. JACKIE Do you blame yourself for helping me? He shakes his head 'no.' JACKIE (CONT'D) 'd feel a whole lot better if you took some more money. MAX (smiling) You'll get over that. Jackie smiles. MAX (CONT'D) Where're you going? JACKIE Spain. MAX Madrid or Barcelona? JACKIE Start off in Madrid. Ever been there? He shakes his head 'no.' JACKIE (CONT'D) I hear they don't eat dinner till midnight. Max doesn't say anything. JACKIE Wanna go? MAX Thanks, but you have a good time. JACKIE Sure I can't twist your arm? MAX Thank you for saying that, but no. My business. JACKIE I thought you were tired of your business? MAX I'm just tired in general. JACKIE Are you scared of me? Max smiles and holds up two fingers, close to each other. MAX A little bit. Jackie smiles back. JACKIE Come over here. Max does. They give each other a long, tender kiss. She breaks it. JACKIE (CONT'D) I'll send you a postcard, partner. THE END
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